Media freedom ‘one of the main pillars of democracy’
A parliamentary delegation, led by Shura member, Muna Al Moayyad, and MP Zainab Abdul Ameer, participated in the opening event of the International Parliamentary Seminar on Media Freedom, organised here by the British Group of the Inter- Parliamentary Union (BGIPU). The first day outlined the state of global media freedom and stressed the importance of collective action to protect journalists and maintain democracy.
It also reviewed the parliamentarians’ vision on ensuring the protection of media and press freedom, as well as the international frameworks for protecting the freedom of media establishments, such as the existing responsibilities and obligations imposed on states to maintain media freedom and protect journalists, as well as the challenges faced when implementing the international legislation.
Commenting on the topic, Muna Al Moayyad said that media freedom and the protection of journalists are the main pillars of democracy, noting that they are tools without which the respect for other human rights cannot be ensured. She affirmed that parliaments are required to continuously focus on developing and updating the legislative, political, social and cultural environment that supports and embraces the media.
Today’s sessions discussed how parliamentarians can work with government partners and other stakeholders to make international mechanisms more effective. Work papers also highlighted the importance of ensuring a fair, open and competitive environment for journalists to operate within.