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Voting percentage in favour of free speech
Voting percentage in favour of free speech

Index on Censorship

Index on Censorship has analysed the voting patterns of the delegates of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly to show who protects free expression and who hinders it.

Index's interactive report shows that delegates from Serbia, Russia, Turkey and Azerbaijan vote in favour of protecting free expression only between 50 and 60 percent of the time. This includes on issues related to the protection of journalists, decriminalisation of defamation, media freedom and freedom of religion.

Three groups have poor records on free speech: the Unified European Left, a group of Communist and social democrat parties; non-aligned delegates; and the European Democrat Group, which includes the British Conservative party, Vladimir Putin's United Russia party, and the governing party of Azerbaijan.

Five delegates vote against free expression every time they vote: Svetlana Goryacheva (Russia), Grigore Petrenco (Moldova), Natalia Burykina (Russia), Aydin Mirzazada (Azerbaijan) and Nataša Jovanović (Serbia).

On the other hand, delegates from Georgia, Scandinavian countries, the U.K. and Spain consistently vote in favour of freedom of expression.

Entirely separate from the European Union, the Strasbourg-based Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) brings together MPs from 47 member states across Europe to supervise the operation of the European Court of Human Rights and the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture. Its 437 delegates are rarely subject to scrutiny even though the assembly's recommendations on human rights carry significant weight in Europe.

Check out Index's illustrated data here.

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