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United Nations Expert on freedom of opinion and expression to visit the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

GENEVA (18 June 2013) – United Nations Special Rapporteur Frank La Rue will visit the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia from 18 to 21 June 2013 to assess the right to freedom of opinion and expression situation in the country.

“I intend to study the most important challenges to freedom of expression in the country, as well as the initiatives taken to ensure this fundamental right is well protected,” Mr. La Rue said “Among other issues, I will look at the measures taken to guarantee the independence of the media, the safety of journalists, as well as the efforts to prevent hate speech.”

Mr. La Rue will visit the country through the invitation of the Macedonian Government. During the visit he will meet with national authorities including members of the legislative and judicial branches. He will also hold discussions with non-governmental organizations, journalists and press organizations.

The Special Rapporteur will prepare a report on the main findings of his visit and make recommendations on the promotion of the right to freedom of expression in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The report will be presented at the United Nations Human Rights Council in June 2014.

Mr. La Rue will host a press conference to share his preliminary conclusions and observations on the morning of Friday, 21 June 2013 in the Holiday Inn Hotel Skopje (Mosa Pijade Str. 2, Skopje 1000, Macedonia).

Frank La Rue (Guatemala) was appointed as Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression in August 2008 by the United Nations Human Rights Council. As Special Rapporteur, he is independent from any government or organization and serves in his individual capacity. Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/FreedomOpinion/Pages/OpinionIndex.aspx

UN Human Rights, country page – Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/ENACARegion/Pages/MKIndex.aspx

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/CCPR.aspx

For inquiries and media requests, please contact:
In Skopje: Amanda Sundell (+389 2 3249 531 amanda.sundell@undp.org), Marcelo Daher (+41 22 917 9431 / mdaher@ohchr.org) or write to freedex@ohchr.org
mailto: In Geneva: Chenie Yoon (+41 22 917 9756 / cyoon@ohchr.org)

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

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