International conference on freedom of expression and safety of journalists in Riga

Brīvības pieminekļa trīs zvaigznes ar skatu uz Vecrīgas namiem; tekstā: Riga conference, The pen is mightier than the sword 5-6 October 2023 Meeting today's challanges to freedom of expression and the sfety of journalists, Launch o the Council of Europe campaign for the safety of journalists

On 5 and 6 October 2023, the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Culture, the Ombudsman’s Office, and the Council of Europe are holding an international conference on freedom of expression and the safety of journalists titled “The Pen is Mightier than the Sword? Meeting today’s challenges to freedom of expression and the safety of journalists”.

The conference is a event of Latvian Presidency in the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers and its objective is in line with the priority of the Latvian Presidency – to strengthen freedom of expression and the safety of journalists.

The participants will address the current threats to freedom of expression and the safety of journalists and the challenges to journalism in times of war and crisis – with the war of aggression of Russia against Ukraine in the background; they will look at legal limitations to freedom of expression in times of conflict, as well as discuss the ways to strengthen resilience to disinformation and the role of independent media in that process.

On the first day of the conference the Council of Europe will launch the Campaign for the Safety of Journalists. The campaign “Journalists matter” is expected to last until 2027 and it aims to set a path for a safer, independent, pluralistic media environment by encouraging states to put in place national plans and mechanisms for ensuring the safety of journalists and, consequently, the protection of journalism and the right to access information.

On the 6th October the representative of the Ombudsman’s Office Ms Kristīne Pakārkle will participate in the discussion on the legal limitations of freedom of expression in times of conflict and war, moderated by the judge of the European Court of Human Rights Mr Mārtiņš Mits.

The event will be live-streamed on the conference website.