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Today the Institute for Reporter’s Freedom and Safety and IMS held a conference titled Five Months before the Internet Governance Forum: Internet Freedom in Azerbaijan.
IMS project manager Gulnara Akhundova announced that the conference kicks off a new initiative to ensure internet freedom in Azerbaijan, where the number of the internet users is 3 million.
She noted that the IMS supports the promotion of the freedom of expression and free internet journalism strategies, and fights any censorship on online TV and radio.
According to IRFS director Emin Huseynov, the campaign will provide monthly conferences involving experts, representatives of government and commercial organizations, social media and mass media activists.
The authors of the campaign believe that by means of discussions they will manage to produce recommendations to the government on the promotion of internet freedom.
“Our work will not be limited to it, we will use other ways to draw attention to this problem” said Rasul Jafarov, one of the organizers of the Sing for Democracy campaign held on the occasion of Eurovision 2012 song contest.
The head of the Azerbaijani National Project on Internet Governance Forum, Nariman Hajiyev, does not agree with the criticism of state Internet policy. He believes that in recent years Azerbaijan has made a breakthrough in the development of information technology and the Internet. The coming internet governance forum in Azerbaijan will be used as an accelerant for this process.
The issue of Internet governance has been included the agenda at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Geneva in 2003 and Tunis in 2005. Final document of the meeting, "Program for the Information Society" was adopted in Tunis.
The first conference on internet freedom can stimulate the work of the Baku IGF. Presentations and discussions covered various aspects of the Internet: access to internet, freedom of expression and the degree of state intervention in the process.
IREX representative Ali Novruzov, said that two phobias were noted in regard to Internet freedom: use for selfish and nefarious purposes, and the need for government intervention in the governance of the Internet. He supported the proposals made by several supporters of internet freedom on the necessity for a minimum of government interference, and transmission of the network to commercial structures.
Video Description: NEW CAMPAIGN ON INTERNET FREEDOM