Council of Europe Holds Round Table Discussion on Safety of Journalists
«Freedom of expression: the safety of journalists, gender equality and media" was the theme of the round table organized by the Council of Europe and opened in Baku today. The event is a joint project of the CoE and the EU support for freedom of expression and media.
Government representatives, journalists and representatives of civil society gathered to discuss freedom of expression in the context of security and gender equality.
The Chairman of the Press Council Aflatun Amashov said that Azerbaijan in 2002 joined the European Convention on Human Rights, which provides for obligations including in the field of freedom of expression.
Before that, the country abolished censorship. As examples of providing security, Amashov called the Council of Press monitoring rallies "to prevent physical pressure on the press."
The representative of the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration Vugar Salimov claimed that the government has a policy to ensure freedom of expression and creation of conditions for the free activity of independent media.
The Deputy Head of the Office of the Council of Europe Teymur Melik-Aslanov noted that the purpose of the project is to promote improvement of the legislation of Azerbaijan in line with Council of Europe standards, and to ensure freedom of the press, which performs the functions of public control.
"Protection of freedom of the media is essential in the provision of other rights. Gender equality ensures the equality of men and women - an indispensable condition for a true democracy," said Melik-Aslanov.
During the two-day round table, experts from the Council of Europe Bisera Zankova and Leila Marshania will speak before the participants. They will talk about how the issues of freedom of expression, journalists' safety and gender equality are reflected in the decisions of the Council of Europe, as well as international practice in this area.
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