STEPANAKERT—Participants of the International Forum of Bloggers held in Stepanakert issued a statement on March 21 “expressing full support to the people of the Republic of Artsakh.”
About 30 bloggers and journalists took part in the forum from March 19-21, with a focus on ensuring the freedoms of bloggers and journalists and coverage of conflicts in social media. The event was organized in light of Azerbaijan arresting Russian-Israeli blogger Alexander Lapshin for his visits to the Artsakh, Baku claiming it illegal for him to do so.
The statement considered it the international community’s responsibility to protect fundamental human rights and condemned “all the violations and limitations of the freedom of expression and freedom of movement.”
The full text of the statement can be read below.
We, the participants of the International forum of bloggers taking place in Artsakh,
Highlighting the importance of exercising and protecting fundamental human rights, in particular, the freedom of expression and the freedom of movement;
Emphasizing the common responsibility of the international community on the matter;
Taking into account the irreplaceable role of media representatives in providing objective information;
Expressing full support to the people of the Republic of Artsakh,
Express confidence that steps of any authority aimed at limiting the exercise by the media representatives of their right to the freedom of expression and the freedom of movement, as well as the policy of persecution over the exercise of those rights are the gross violation of the fundamental human rights and freedoms;
Condemn all the violations and limitations of the freedom of expression and freedom of movement,
State that this international forum, taking place in the self-determined Republic of Artsakh, is the best response to the steps aimed at limiting and prosecuting for freedom of expression and freedom of movement;
Assure that each of us is determined to contribute to the implementation of fundamental human rights, as well as to advocating for peace.
Stepanakert, Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh)
March 20, 2017