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Harlem Desir: Central Asia still has restrictions for media

«We met at a media conference in Astana last year, and since the time it was held, there are still restrictions for the media in some countries of the region,» OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Desir said today at the 21st Central Asia Media Conference.

According to him, he himself had to intervene in the situation in the regions where websites were blocked and activities of journalists were restricted. At the same time, the OSCE representative noted that it was very important to discuss the freedom of the media on digital transformation and the potential of their freedom.

«We are glad that opportunities are provided for the development of the media and civil society. Freedom of the media and expression is an integral part of the development of society. It supports economic freedom, is a key rule of law and rights for investors. It is good when there is an opportunity to discuss problems and develop recommendations for improvement of the situation,» Harlem Desir stressed.

He also noted that the problems of misinformation and fake news remain important nowadays. The pressing issue now is how to reveal information with extremist content, hatred.

«Many governments think about regulation of the media platform in order to control the content and the flow of information, to block sites for complete control. We need to fight against restriction of the expression of freedom. I wish any model of media regulation were consistent with human rights. We need a dialogue between the state and individuals to create an optimal work model. We need international cooperation to reduce website blockages in the region. Discussion of all issues with journalists and civil society is very important. All this should be legitimate, proportionate,» Harlem Desir said.