Yet another list of enemies of free press, which was exposed by international organization Reporters Sans Frontieres (Reporters Without Borders) turned out to be extremely predictable. Traditionally, the list includes nearly all politicians (including Russian), which the West likes to criticize.
However, can we speak about the objectiveness of this formally independent non-state human rights organization if it turns a blind eye on the issues of freedom of speech in the countries that are loyal to the United States? Moreover, the organization does not wish to reveal the criteria used in its research works.
The France-based organization labeled 19 presidents and prime ministers, including Russia’s Putin and China’s Hu Jintao as suppressors of freedom of speech in the world. It is very easy to guess that the list also includes Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Cuba’s Raul Castro.
As for Russia, Reporters Sans Frontieres accused Prime Minister Vladimir Putin of “promoting a climate of pumped-up national pride.” The fighters for freedom of speech particularly said that Putin’s vertical of power is a formula that “has been his guiding principle in the reconstruction of a strong state after the years of confusion and dilution of authority under Boris Yeltsin.” They also criticized the state-run control over some independent media outlets.
This is quite a strange, albeit an explicable accusation. Western human rights activists are apparently more comfortable with Russia’s humiliating apologies “for our Soviet past,” rather than with Russia’s “national pride.”
“I am astounded with the formulation about the “national pride” as a negative factor. If we take this formulation, then the phrase “America above all” must give up the American democracy for lost. Aren’t the French proud of their nation thinking that they are one of the most culturally developed nations in the world?” Pavel Gusev, editor-in-chief of the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper told Politonline.ru.
We have to say, though, that this year the list of enemies of mass media has suffered slight changes. This year, it includes the head of the Chechen republic Ramzan Kadyrov. The “Reporters” say that the Chechen leader “shares the Russian prime minister’s taste for crude language and strong action.” The report says that the journalists, who doubted Kadyrov’s politics, were murdered.
No one in Russia would say, of course, that the situation in the media sphere is absolutely normal in the country. Journalists die, the media may often find themselves under the control of regional governments. No one says that there are no such things in Russia. However, can we be serious about regular anti-Russian attacks from the human rights organization established during the cold war? It appeared as a tool against the states, whose policies go against the will of the USA and its allies.
Here is an example. The “Reporters” did not pay any attention to the blatant suppression of freedom of speech in Georgia. Spokespeople for the Georgian opposition say that the mass media freedom rating, which has been recently exposed by Freedom House, was catastrophic for Georgia.
“The authorities have not done a thing for freedom of media, they did not do anything to protect the media from pressure. Quite on the contrary, we know many facts, when the government was controlling and subordinating the media here in Georgia,” Georgian opposition activist Nika Ivanishvili said.
Strangely enough, Reporters Sans Frontieres completely ignore those facts. They pretended to be blind when 16 newspapers of such a small country as Georgia published their May 3rd issues with front page headlines: “Give us public information!”
The fact that US bombs and missiles kill reporters in the “free Iraq” is never mentioned in human rights reports and ratings. The USA and its NATO allies are always innocent.
The silence of Reporters Sans Frontieres about Sami al-Hajj, a journalist of Al-Jazeera, who was tortured at a US base in Afghanistan and then in Guantanamo, also raises many questions about the objectiveness of this organization. The “Reporters” justified soldiers of the Western coalition, who gunned down a Spanish camera man and his Ukrainian colleague in Baghdad in 2003.
The biased approach of Reporters Sans Frontieres to the issues of freedom of speech may have a different, a more prosaic explanation. This organization, just like Freedom House, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, exists on the funds assigned from the US State Department.
The list of Reporters’ sponsors continues with such names as George Soros, Sanofi-Aventis pharmaceutical company, the French office of Hewlett-Packard and others.
Reporters Sans Frontieres is a tool in the propaganda war, and this war continues.