Valery Fadeyev, the head of the Russian Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights (HRC), has distributed messages to the OSCE’s representative on freedom of the media, and Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, asking them to take under personal control the situation with Estonia’s pressure on Sputnik employees.
“The HRC has received extremely alarming information about the Estonian authorities’ unprecedented pressure on the Estonian bureau of the Sputnik news agency,” Fadeyev said.
The HRC expressed its deep concerns over Estonia’s moves targeted against the journalists, pointing to the fact that the demands of the Police and Border Guard Board violated key international and European regulations guaranteeing freedom of the media and journalists’ independence.
Fadeyev asked Desir and Mijatovic to take the situation under personal control and “draw the attention of the Estonian authorities to the need to stop any pressure on media representatives and to comply strictly with European norms, related to ensuring media freedom and journalists’ rights.”
On Wednesday, Sputnik and RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan asked Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid to not allow the journalists to be arrested, while Russian President Vladimir Putin assured that Russia would do everything possible to support Sputnik’s work abroad. He also voiced the belief that Estonia’s threats could be motivated by its fear of Sputnik’s “influence on the minds of people.”