At the conference of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna, Press Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Mariana Betsa urged Russia to immediately stop the persecution of Ukrainian journalists Roman Sushchenko and Mykolai Semena.

“#Fomconf2017 called upon the Russian Federation to immediately stop the illegal and political persecution of Ukrainian journalists Roman Sushchenko and Mykolai Semena.”

Furthermore, during her speech, Betsa recalled Russia's gross violations of freedom of speech and media in the occupied Crimea and the Donbas.

Diana Dutsyk, the acting director of Detector Media, who was present at the conference, commented on Betsa's words:

“Foreign Ministry Speaker Mariana Betsa said that Ukraine supports freedom of speech. I reminded the Russians of two journalists kept hostage in Russia: Roman Sushchenko and Mykolay Semena, and called on other countries and the OSCE to exert efforts to release them. She also reacted to the statement of the Russian representative on the "Ukrainian issue": There is no Ukrainian issue, there is a Russian war against Ukraine, she said.”

Reportedly, many Ukrainian journalists and experts, as well as activists of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine, participated in the international media conference in Vienna "Media Freedom in Volatile Environments". One of the main points in the discussion was the topic of media literacy. Dutsyk went on saying:

“The last session of the first day is devoted to the topic of media literacy. The topic being raised on the OSCE platform at this level is extremely important. Probably, for the first time here in this format. Media literacy is becoming important not only in Ukraine, but also in European countries. Everyone got sick of fake and propaganda. This is felt in all speeches during various discussions. UNESCO representative Marius Lukosiunas believes that media literacy is a soft power, an instrument that can help to counter negative phenomena in society, and also to work with topics that are difficult to regulate.”

Earlier QHA reported that June 19-20, an international conference of the OSCE dedicated to the work of the media in crisis conditions is held in Vienna.
Journalists and media experts will discuss the affect of misinformation and propaganda on the efforts to achieve peace and reconciliation processes and how they undermine the foundations of the journalistic profession and democracy in general.

PHOTO: Twitter Mariana Betsa, Facebook Diana Dusyk