On March 13-14, a conference titled “Media Freedom as a Central Pillar of Comprehensive Security” was organized by the OSCE Chairpersonship of North Macedonia, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) in Vienna, the capital of Austria.
The issue of freedom of the media in the OSCE region was widely discussed at the meeting attended by representatives from OSCE participating States, OSCE institutions and other executive structures and international organizations, civil society and other stakeholders and representatives of state institutions from 57 countries.
Talking about the reforms carried out in the field of media freedom in Azerbaijan, Head of the Institute for Democracy and Human Rights, Dr. Ahmad Shahidov talked about the innovations and innovative practices implemented in the last 2 years. Noting that the reports published by some international media organizations about Azerbaijan do not reflect the truth and were republished based on outdated information, Dr. Ahmad Shahidov said that after the establishment of the Media Development Agency, some successful innovations were observed.
Dr. Ahmad Shahidov said that it is still not possible for journalists to work safely in liberated areas and that Armenians have buried hundreds of thousands of mines in these areas.
Dr. Ahmad Shahidov’s speech caused a strong reaction from the Armenian side and Armenia’s official representative to the OSCE tried to interrupt the speech of the human rights defender by using the right of reply twice. While concluding his speech, Dr. Ahmad Shahidov condemned the use of one-sided and vague information about the current situation of the media in Azerbaijan and recommended the use of information on innovations and reforms implemented on the official website of the Media Development Agency.