Delegation of the European Union to Rwanda

EU Human Rights Day Event focuses on Freedom of Expression and Media Transformation

Kigali, 14/12/2016 - 14:00, UNIQUE ID: 161213_11
Press releases

The Delegation of The European Union to Rwanda and EU Member States held a Human Rights Day Event on the topic of "Freedom of Expression and Media Transformation: Lessons from Africa and Europe" on 14, December 2016.

The event was part of activities to mark the International Human Rights Day which is celebrated on 10 December 2016.

The half day event attracted 200 participants including; journalists, CSOs, media organisations, government officials, development partners, and diplomatic missions.

Through two panel discussions, panellists discussed media transformation and how to build journalism that is free, fair and responsible. They also examined the roles of public and private media, and their different functions, funding and levels of independence.


Both panels were introduced by a presentation on experience of Czech media with transformation from a fully restricted to an open environment by renowned Czech journalist Dr. Jaromir Marek. The presentations served as a launch pad for debate about lessons from Europe and Africa.

The Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Rwanda, Ambassador Michael Ryan remarked; "Freedom of Expression is at the heart of the EU's human rights policy as an essential foundation for democracy, rule of law, peace, stability, sustainable inclusive development and participation in public affairs. This is therefore an opportunity to use the Human Rights Day to reflect on freedom of expression in Rwanda, and the lessons globally about supporting transformation of media and development of vibrant media culture."

Other activities that took place alongside the EU and Member States Event are a journalism master class for journalism students held at the University Of Rwanda School Of Journalism on 13 December 2016. The master class was given by Dr. Jaromir Marek. Dr. Marek also met news editors from different media outlets in Rwanda at Umubano Hotel to deliver a lecture on "New Trends in Media".

In November, the EU Delegation also launched an essay competition on the topic: "Freedom of media – why does it matter?" The purpose of the essay competition is to raise awareness among the general public in Rwanda about human rights and existing international legal frameworks on human rights.

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