The Hague hosted a press freedom conference with a special focus on the situation in Ukraine and Russia
Representatives of almost 25 embassies in The Hague, journalists and students took part in the event, an Ukrinform correspondent in The Hague reports.
“Journalists around the world face threats in the course of their work. The international community must intensify its efforts to support journalists so that they continue to fight disinformation and defend democracy in any part of the world,” said Chargé d’Affaires a.i. in the Netherlands Marya Verloop.
According to her, on average, “journalists are killed every five days, others are harassed or intimidated, and this happens year after year.”
She stressed that together with partners such as the Netherlands and Canada, “we are promoting freedom of the press and the media, in particular through the creation of a fund for journalists.”
In turn, Canadian Ambassador to the Netherlands Lisa Gelfand recalled that according to international humanitarian law and the Geneva Convention, journalists and civilians cannot be targeted by the military.
“There are rules, and people who break them must be held accountable. Unfortunately, this is a long process, but we must continue to collect information, statements of witnesses, so that we can build a case against people who violate international law,” the diplomat stressed.
She also stressed the need to fight propaganda and disinformation through education.
“We have to take care of people’s education, because that’s when they will be able to understand how to recognize disinformation. Education is the key. And when there are tools for recognizing disinformation, one can easily understand when they are being fed lies,” the diplomat said.
Ambassador of Ukraine to the Netherlands Maxim Kononenko called the current event extremely necessary and important in order to draw attention to the peculiarities of journalistic activity in wartime.
“Firstly, the safety of the journalists themselves is important. Secondly, it is a question of awareness of responsibility. Since journalistic activity should be, on the one hand, objective, and on the other hand, not endanger the lives and health of other people,” he stressed.
According to the diplomat, it is very important to draw attention to the financing of journalistic activities. “Now the Ukrainian media do not have the opportunity to receive additional sources of funding, as it used to be. The issue of proper funding is very important. In this context, it is worth drawing the attention of the international community to this, attracting international grants, in particular from countries that support freedom of speech and journalism.” activities,” he said.
As reported, on February 24, Russian President Putin announced the start of a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Russian troops are shelling and destroying key infrastructure facilities, conducting massive shelling of residential areas of Ukrainian cities and villages using artillery, multiple launch rocket systems, and ballistic missiles.
The invaders staged a mass terror in the temporarily occupied territories.