Press Council of Azerbaijan holds conference “Freedom of the Press: Human Virtuality and Realities of Azerbaijan” dedicated to the World Press Freedom Day
On May 3, the Press Council of Azerbaijan held conference “Freedom of the Press: Human Virtuality and Realities of Azerbaijan” dedicated to the World Press Freedom Day on May 3.
Prior to the conference, the participants visited the Alley of Honors to pay tribute to the national leader Heydar Aliyev and founder of the Azerbaijani press Hasan Bay Zardabi.
Then, at the second avenue of the Alley they honored memory of the editor-in-chief of the “Monitor” magazine Elmar Huseynov, who was killed in 2005.
Opening the conference, the head of the Press Council of Azerbaijan, Member of Parliament Aflatun Amashov highlighted the history of establishment of the World Press Freedom Day. A. Amashov noted that after the end of "Cold War" the political picture of the world seriously changed.
"In November, 1989, at the general conference of UNESCO, it was accepted the new strategy in the field of communications. It provided free dissemination of information, assistance to developing countries in expansion of communication opportunities. In 1990, it was offered to organize meetings of journalists of the West and the East. This meeting became a reality in February 1990, and besides the journalists of the Central and Eastern Europe, the journalists from Western Europe and North America – over 80 people took part at the event. It became a contribution of the UN to development of democratic processes in Central and Eastern Europe. The meeting discussed issues of activity of the journalists according to the new situation, importance of exchange of information between the East and the West and also need of large-scale actions for establishment of the principles of freedom of speech, independence of the press and pluralism around the world.
In May 1991, in Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, it was adopted the declaration on protection of freedom of the press in Africa. Afterwards, UNESCO suggested to approve May 3 as the World Press Freedom Day, what was made by the United Nations in 1993", - A. Amashov emphasized.
According to him, in Azerbaijan each year May 3 is widely celebrated by the media public.
“Actions both in the field of the legislation in the sphere of media, and in respect of works on improvement of social conditions of journalists and strengthening of material and technical resources of the editions demonstrate sensitive attention to freedom of the press in Azerbaijan, that is, particular importance is attached to it. Therefore, the Azerbaijani media are the leader in the region. There are also problems connected, for example, with difficulties of self-financing, non-professionalism, etc.", - the Chairman underlined.
Amashov also touched upon the murder of the editor-in-chief of the “Monitor” magazine Elmar Huseynov happened in 2005, having called it an attack on freedom of speech and freedom of the press in Azerbaijan. The head of the Press Council noted the importance of bringing the culprits of murder of the journalist to responsibility, having urged law enforcement bodies to be active in this question.
The board member of Press Council, the editor-in-chief of the “Yeni Azerbaycan” newspaper, Member of Parliament Hikmet Babaoglu noted that freedom of speech and press is big achievement of Azerbaijan. Having estimated the concept of freedom from the philosophical point of view, he called it moral need and noted that journalism is an institute the mission of which is reporting society of the vital information and use of boundless possibility of freedom of speech.
The deputy head of the Press Council, the head of the International Eurasia Press Fund (IEPF) Umud Rahimoglu spoke of the state with freedom of speech and the press in the world, about the difference between this freedom and insults, misinformation, having noted that this issue was repeatedly discussed by the United Nations.
The board member of Press Council Azer Hasrat noted that during the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict the Armenian invaders killed 6 Azerbaijani journalists, and the Azerbaijani soldiers never shot on the Armenian journalists. Speaking about manipulations with the concept of freedom of speech and press, A. Hasrat emphasized that Sevinj Osmangizi, the daughter of the journalist Osman Mirzoyev who fell victim of the Armenian terror in Nagorno-Karabakh, speculates with the principles of freedom of speech, using them against Azerbaijan, and it is very contradictory moment. He also emphasized importance of detention and prosecution of murderers of the journalist Elmar Huseynov.
The board member of Press Council, the editor-in-chief of the “Khalg Jebhesi” newspaper Elchin Mirzabeyli noted that in calls of modern times, it is very difficult to define the boundaries of freedom of speech, having emphasized that the Azerbaijani journalists have to follow the principles of professionalism in their work.
The deputy head of the Press Council, chairman of Journalists Trade Union Mushfig Aleskerli noted that the leading countries of the world are seriously concerned about maintaining freedom of speech. One of the factors necessary for protection against fake news on social networks is to increase the role of traditional media. Having noted importance of rendering due consideration to it in Azerbaijan, M. Aleskerli added that professional journalists have to think of it, having mobilized all resources.
At the meeting, also was addressing the board member of Press Council, editor-in-chief of "525-ji qazet" Rashad Majid, the board member of Press Council, editor-in-chief of the “Baku-Xeber” newspaper Aydin Guliyev, the deputy chief editor of the “Xalq qazeti” Tahir Aydinoglu, etc.
At the conclusion of conference, the participants summarized ideas of need of increase in efficiency of protection of the principles of freedom of speech and press, strengthening of fight against attempts to do much harm to it in any form, and also noted that are still not punished the murderer of journalist Elmar Huseynov, what causes a regret. Therefore, the relevant structures need to take serious measures in this regard.