1. The Committee on Legal Affairs
and Human Rights congratulates the rapporteur of the Committee on Culture,
Science, Education and Media, Ms Elvira Drobinski-Weiss (Germany,
SOC) on her report and broadly supports the proposed draft resolution.
2. The committee proposes a few amendments to further strengthen
the draft resolution regarding some legal aspects, especially concerning
the right to freedom of expression and freedom of association. It
also wishes to put more emphasis on the protection of journalists’
safety and the need to punish the perpetrators of journalists’ killings,
bearing in mind, in particular, the recent assassinations of Daphne
Caruana Galizia in Malta and Ján Kuciak in the Slovak Republic.
It also recalls that it has tackled some of the aspects of the work
of journalists who might fall into the category of “human rights
defenders” or “whistle-blowers”, namely in its Resolution 2095 (2016) and Recommendation
2085 (2016) on strengthening the protection and role of human rights
defenders in Council of Europe member States and Resolution 2060 (2015) and Recommendation
2073 (2015) on improving the protection of whistle-blowers.
3. Finally, the committee notes the restrictive approach to
the definition of journalist taken by the report and the draft resolution.
References in the resolution to protection of freedom of expression,
including protection of sources, and prevention of impunity for
threats and reprisals should take a wider, teleological approach reflecting
contemporary realities in how information, analysis and comment
are generated and publicly shared, following the approach already
taken by the Committee of Ministers and the United Nations Human
Rights Committee, among others.