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  • Date: 20-04-2016, 00:00

Our experts held seminars in Kazakhstan on freedom of expression and hate speech on Internet

 20-04-2016, 00:00    Category: English, Education & Trainings, News

ASTANA, 19 April 2016 – An OSCE-supported two-day training seminar on protecting freedom of expression and countering hate speech on the Internet began today in Astana.

Our experts held seminars in Kazakhstan on freedom of expression and hate speech on Internet Inga Sikorskaya, Director at the School of Peacemaking and Media Technology in Bishkek, speaking about international norms in protecting freedom of speech and countering hate speech during the OSCE-supported seminar, Astana, 19 April 2016. (Supreme Court of Kazakhstan)

Some 40 journalists, lawyers, academics, representatives of the Justice, Interior, Investment and Development Ministries, the Prosecutor General’s Office, the Anti-terrorism Centre under the National Security Committee and Supreme Court gathered to discuss the relationship between media and hate speech policies and ways to enhance co-operation between governments, civil society and media organizations.

The event was co-organized by the OSCE Programme Office in Astana and the Legal Media Centre, a non-governmental organization based in Kazakhstan.

At the seminar, experts from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and the Russian Federation will analyse a number of selected Internet resources to identify trends in speech used by journalists and Internet users. The participants will learn the tools to counter hate speech in the media and on the Internet, mechanisms to reduce the potential harm from a malicious Internet environment and destructive human behaviour including trolling, cyber-bullying and hate speech. They will also learn how to assess text for potential conflict situations. The results of the event will allow for the further development of recommendations based on concrete practical cases.

"The Internet has become an indispensable tool for obtaining and distributing information,” said Colin McCullough, Political Officer of the OSCE Programme Office. "With its expanded use we must consider important security challenges in cyberspace, such as protecting freedom of speech while finding ways to counter content that promotes hatred and intolerance of others or may incite them to violence.”

Diana Okremova, President of the Legal Media Centre said: "According to official statistics, 88 criminal cases were filed last year under the article on "incitement of social, national, tribal, racial, class or religious hatred. Given the pace at which the Internet is developing and increasing the number of its members, this topic is becoming increasingly important and sensitive. We organized these workshops to help people understand the law and potential consequences for violating it.”

A seminar on the same topic will take place on 21-22 April in Almaty.

The event is in line with the OSCE Programme Office’s activities aimed at promoting media freedom and freedom of expression in the host country.


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