Anniversary Declaration Calls on Governments to Protect Freedom of Speech in South Caucasus

Baku/12.11.13/Turan : Taking place in Tbilisi on 10th South Caucasus Media Conference , organized by the Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, took the 10th anniversary declaration.

The declaration welcomed the fact that the government , media , civil society and academics of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia participated in the conference and discussed important issues relating to media freedom, in a spirit of cooperation.

The conference condemned the attacks , harassment and intimidation of journalists and calls on the authorities to publicly condemn every case of violence, and to ensure prompt and effective investigation in order to prevent the promotion of a climate of fear and impunity.

They call on the authorities to refrain from criminalizing journalistic activities , including the imprisonment of journalists .

The declaration calls on the authorities to ensure a safe environment for journalists , bloggers and others , recognizing the freedom of speech in online and offline environments.

The outcome document also contained calls for the improvement of national legislation in line with OSCE commitments , to provide conditions for wider dissemination of information about the inadmissibility of restrictions on the Internet.

In the field of television broadcasting the conference call on the government to provide people with a variety of sources of information in the transition to digital broadcasting and to take practical steps to increase pluralism of content and prevent concentration of ownership in the broadcasting organizations.

Finally , the declaration emphasizes the importance of continuing to organize South Caucasus Media Conference of the Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media , as well as master classes , round tables and workshops . It is recommended to take further steps to provide clear mechanisms to assess the effectiveness of the recommendations made during the conference in order to ensure greater impact on media freedom in the region. - 0 -


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