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Free-Expression Network Conference In Azerbaijan


Global Free-Expression Network To Hold Conference In Azerbaijan

TORONTO - Around the world, bloody conflicts in countries like Haiti, Iraq and Sudan are placing increasing numbers of journalists and writers at risk. More were killed in the line of duty in 2003 than in any year in the last decade. Against this backdrop, the International Freedom of Expression eXchange (IFEX) will bring together some of the most influential freedom of expression organisations to strategise ways of dealing with these threats at its General Meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan, from 13 to 18 June 2004.

IFEX, the world's largest network of press freedom and free-expression groups, is co-hosting the five-day meeting with the Baku-based Journalists' Trade Union (JuHI), where representatives of more than 80 organisations will discuss the most pressing issues facing free expression today, including Internet censorship, anti-terrorism laws and journalists' safety.

Members of IFEX will look at new obstacles facing groups in developing countries and share creative ways of strengthening free expression.

"The IFEX conference offers a vital opportunity to develop new strategies for defending free expression all over the world - including Azerbaijan and other countries in the region where abuses occur," said Ann Cooper, Executive Director of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). "This meeting is essential for all of us who work to defend the free speech rights of all people, as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights."

IFEX members from conflict-ridden countries will share expertise on monitoring attacks on free expression, organising advocacy campaigns and developing regional networks.

The General Meeting will be held at the Crescent Beach Hotel in Baku.

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