Source: Republic of Lithuania
On 16 November, the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius attended the first ministerial-level meeting of the Media Freedom Coalition. The event was held in a virtual format. The meeting took place as part of the second Global Conference for Media Freedom, co-hosted by Canada and Botswana.
“It is worrying that more journalists are killed in peace time situations than in war zones. We condemn all the attacks, repression and violence perpetrated against journalists and media workers who have been persecuted, detained and even killed not just in armed conflict, but also during peacetime,” said Linkevičius.Lithuania’s Foreign Minister reminded that 2020 marked the 5th anniversary of the unanimous adoption of a resolution on the protection of journalists in conflict zones. The resolution was drafted by Lithuania’s Presidency of the United Nations Security Council. According to Linkevičius, concerns over the safety of journalists are still relevant today.The Foreign Minister once again called on the Belarusian authorities to refrain from using force against peaceful protestors, including journalists and media workers, to end unjustified detentions and arbitrary arrests, and, without further ado, bring to justice police officers who have reportedly humiliated journalists in their custody.The Media Freedom Coalition ministerial communiqué was also released during the event.The British Foreign Secretary and the Canadian Foreign Minister announced the launch of the Media Freedom Coalition in London in July 2019. Lithuania joined this initiative during the inaugural event in London. 38 countries are currently members of the Coalition.