SHAFAQNA – On February 18th, 2016, an international conference titled “Press Freedom under conditions of international instability and terrorism” was held by the AJKF journalist’s association, in the center of Paris.
The present situation in Syria, Yemen, and other flashpoints became the central topics of discussion during the conference. Covering local conflicts, terrorism and journalists’ work under extreme conditions are the main issues confronting free press. For example, in Turkey it is typical that the state covertly supports terrorist organizations forbidden by the international community, and persecutes the press and leading intellectuals. The government of Lithuania protests and works against the free movement of independent experts. These are only several examples of the day-to-day reality in which press freedoms are curtailed, and are of particular interest to the association.
Our aim is to protect the rights of journalists and analysts who provide people with unbiased information, and also to create the opportunity for the varying parties of a conflict to describe the situation from their perspective. Today we have managed to take one step forward in the promotion of the ideals of freedom of speech and fair coverage of world events. We gathered representatives from different countries, of different political views and religious convictions in one hall. Despite the increased degree of debate which naturally results from such a dynamic, everyone was able to speak and share their position. We hope that such meetings will engender a discourse where all key points are addressed and will establish a dialogue where the official media is unable.
After the Conference award ceremony was held to congratulate the winners of the Grant program for 2015. We were honored to be joined by several noteworthy individuals, and the certificates were handed over by a man who is an institution in French politics, Jean-Marie Le Pen, and as well by His Royal Highness Prince Sixtus Henry of Bourbon-Parma.