Attacks on journalists are attacks on democracy, says OSCE PA President Tsereteli in Tbilisi

TBILISI, 10 October 2019 – A fully functioning democracy requires that journalists and activists are able to work without fear for their lives, nor fear of being imprisoned for their beliefs, stated President George Tsereteli (MP, Georgia) in remarks delivered at the 16th South Caucasus Media Conference in Tbilisi.

GT Tblisi conferenceGeorge Tsereteli addresses media conference in Tbilisi, 9 Oct. 2019“We need to make clear that attacks on journalists are nothing less than an attack on democracy,” said President Tsereteli. “All our countries must continue to do more to build safeguards guaranteeing that whistle-blowers, anti-corruption activists, and investigative journalists are able to conduct their work. This should come in the form of special protection enshrined in legislation. Our parliaments must do more to ensure effective parliamentary oversight of governments’ actions towards solving all cases of journalists’ murders, imprisonment and/or ill treatment in a transparent manner.”

During his address on Wednesday, the President recalled the Luxembourg Declaration adopted in July, which calls upon OSCE participating States to ensure that efforts to protect journalists should not be limited to those formally recognized and documented as such, but should also cover support staff, citizen journalists, bloggers and others active in this field. It also urges that OSCE countries develop strategies to eliminate the harassment of women journalists.

On the margins of the conference, President Tsereteli met Harlem Desir, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media. President Tsereteli reiterated the Parliamentary Assembly’s support for the Representative’s office and the two discussed opportunities for further co-operation and common strategies to strengthen the impact of the OSCE’s work.

The conference, organized by the Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, is being held under the theme “Strengthening media freedom and safety of journalists in a changing environment.” It includes participants from Armenia and Azerbaijan and Georgia representing the public authorities, media, journalists' associations, civil society, academia, and international experts to discuss the issues of the regulatory frameworks, safe working environment, and new media technologies.



Nat Parry

Head of Communications and Press

Office: +45 33 37 80 55
Mobile: +45 60 10 81 77
Email: [email protected]

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