Recommendations of the conference on improving the situation of freedom of expression

A conference “Safe to Speak: Securing Freedom of Expression in All Media” took place on May 2 at the “Exselsior” hotel . The conference was organized on the occasion of the World Day for freedom of speech.

The final declaration of the conference is about international commitments of Azerbaijan in the field of freedom of speech, press and expression. The  importance of freedom of media during elections and electoral campaigns is highlighted.

The participants pointed to the incompatibility of censorship, threats, arrests and other methods of silencing critical voices and freedom of elections.

The statement expressed concern about the killings, death threats, blackmail, kidnapping, imprisonment, ill-treatment, deportation, and other methods of harassment of journalists in Azerbaijan and the continued growth of these facts.

Such actions are not only crimes against journalists and activists, but also have a negative impact on the overall situation of the acquisition and dissemination of information.

Impunity for crimes against freedom of expression encourages new attacks to silence criticism.

The declaration calls for end to the persecution of freedom of expression, to find and punish those who have committed crimes against journalists and activists.

The document's authors also called on the Azerbaijani authorities to stop the harassment of users of social networks, the immediate and unconditional release of journalists, bloggers and civil society activists, to comply with international commitments to eliminate the commission on the Internet with the Press Council, to abandon plans for the licensing of online TV and radio, to ensure the confidentiality of correspondence in Internet, to take measures to prevent  hacker attacks  on  alternative web-based resources, develop the infrastructure of the Internet in rural areas, etc. -03B06-     

 

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