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A photo exhibition on free speech and information marks Press Freedom Day in Armenia
YEREVAN, May 3, 2012 - "Freedom of press: the right to know" is the theme of the exhibition that opened in Yerevan today to mark World Press Freedom Day.
The event, organized by the Freedom of Information Center of Armenia NGO in cooperation with the Delegation of the European Union, brought together journalists, representatives of state institutions, and members of civil society. The event was also supported by USAID/Armenia and the OSCE Office in Yerevan.
The aim of the one week exhibition is to reflect on the challenges and opportunities of exercising the right to information, and to remind the government, media representatives and the public at large of their role in achieving this right. All photos/caricatures included in the exhibition, over 70 in total, will be published in a catalogue.
Head of EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador H.E. Mr. Traian Hristea welcomed the exhibition as a creative way to demonstrate public perceptions on access to information and freedom of expression in Armenia. "On 3 May we mark World Press Freedom Day. The European Union has always promoted freedom of opinion and expression, since it is a fundamental human right. I would like to take this opportunity to underline the importance of the work of journalists around the world, who sometimes risk their lives to ensure the freedom of expression. We hope that we will witness such professional dedication during the coverage of the upcoming elections in Armenia", he said.
"Free expression and information are key to the respect of human dignity and critical tools enabling citizens to take an active part in public life. We hope the exhibition will remind the government, media and public at large of the role they each can play in achieving implementation of the right to free speech and information, mentioned Ambassador Andrey Sorokin, Head of the OSCE Office in Yerevan".
President of the Freedom of Information Centre, Shushan Doydoyan added: "This is a special exhibition since everybody, including journalists, citizens, and professional photographers were invited to present their images on the topic. In the photos the heroes voice their disagreement towards violence against press freedom, as well as their right to access information despite the obstacles and barriers they face”.
U.S. Ambassador to Armenia John Heffern also made remarks commending the organizers and commenting on the importance of a free press and access to information for a well-functioning democracy. Ambassador Heffern encouraged the Freedom of Information Center of Armenia to continue the good work it does in promoting transparency and accountability of public institutions.
The World Press Freedom Day is celebrated across the globe every May 3 to commemorate the fundamental principles of media freedom. The event calls on member states to guarantee and promote freedom of information and to remind civil society organizations, other relevant stakeholders, and the news media in particular, of their central part in furthering it.