Baku /10.10.19 / Turan: A two-day OSCE conference on media freedom and security in the South Caucasus opened in Tbilisi today. The event brings together journalists from countries in the region, officials, as well as international experts.
At the opening of the conference, OSCE Representative for Freedom of the Media, Arlem Desir, noted that the safety of journalists in the South Caucasus is an integral part of fundamental freedom of expression. He pointed out the need to develop freedom of pluralism.
Speaking at the conference panel, the Director of the Reporters Without Borders Department for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Johann Beer, drew particular attention to media issues in Azerbaijan.
He called on the Azerbaijani authorities to release the journalist Afgan Mukhtarli and investigate the pressure on his lawyers.
At the same time, Beer emphasized that sanctions stipulated by Magnitsky”s law should be applied to violators of human rights in Azerbaijan.
In turn, the chairman of the Institute for Freedom and Security of Reporters (ISBR) Mehman Huseynov announced the need to release all political prisoners in Azerbaijan. To resolve this issue, international organizations should increase attention to the problem of human rights in Azerbaijan.
Freelance journalist Arzu Geybulla spoke about pressure on women journalists in Azerbaijan.
Representatives of Armenia and Georgia also indicated that the situation with the safety of journalists is deteriorating in their countries. The representative of Armenia in particular noted the difficulty of obtaining information in the country.
The representative of the presidential administration of Azerbaijan, Kamran Hasanov, accused Beer of bias and blackening of Azerbaijan. He also indicated that Afgan Mukhtarli”s lawyer Nemat Karimli was ransacked in accordance with the procedures.
The official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, Leyla Abdullayeva, said that speaking about the violation of the rights of individuals, he did not say anything about the violated rights of 1 million Azerbaijani refugees.
Beer, in turn, said that his information is based on in-depth studies conducted around the world and Azerbaijan ranks 166th in the Press Freedom Index.
Mehman Huseynov, for his part, pointed out that so far their family has not been issued an opinion on the death of his mother and the prosecutor”s office does not conduct any investigation. This suggests that certain forces in power might be interested in the death of his mother. The conference continues.
The conference program includes: quality journalism and the media in the digital era; the safety of journalists in times of political change; regulatory environment for media freedom and pluralism; general overview of the development of media freedom in the region. -06D–