Nine countries leave European Press Council Alliance in support of Ukraine

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The Press Councils in Armenia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Ireland, Moldova, Norway, and Sweden are suspending their membership in the Alliance of Independent Press Councils of Europe (AIPCE) over Russia’s continued membership in the organization, Ukraine’s Commission of Journalist ethics reported.

In a letter submitted on 28 October, the press Councils decry the “lack of proper debate” over Ukraine’s proposal to expel Russia from the AIPCE, after which Ukraine withdrew from the council in protest on 21 October.

“The fact that Ukraine is out, and Russia is in, makes it impossible for us to be part of AIPCE. We are in no position to pass judgment on the staff of the Russian Collegium, but in fact, there is no press freedom today and, specifically, no possibility for proper operation of self-regulation in Russia. The whole media sector is used in Putin’s hideous propaganda machinery.

We are all behind AIPCE’s stated goals for an independent press and for solid press councils in Europe. We would like to come back to an alliance where best practise, ideas and common values can be shared in a democratic and respectful way. From this moment we are suspending our membership of the AIPCE, until our Ukrainian colleagues can join again. The logos and names of our press councils should immediately be removed from the AIPCE website,” the statement says.

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