(AJI/ARTICLE 19/IFEX) - 17 September 2009 - The Aliansi Jurnalis Independen (Alliance of Independent Journalists or AJI) and ARTICLE 19 jointly hosted a regional launch of the Camden Principles on Freedom of Expression and Equality in Jakarta, Indonesia on 17 September.
The Principles are founded on the understanding that freedom of expression and equality are mutually supporting and foundational human rights. They describe the various ways in which these key rights reinforce each other, and also address potential tensions between the rights, particularly in the area of hate speech.
Today's Asia launch of the Principles aims to raise the profile of the Principles in one the largest and most diverse continent in the world.
Speakers at the Asian launch of the Camden Principles included Bambang Harymurti, Corporate Chief Editor of "Tempo" magazine; Augus Sudibyo, Deputy Director of the SET Foundation and Coordinator of the Indonesian Coalition for Freedom of Information; and Toby Mendel, Senior Legal Counsel for ARTICLE 19. Harymurti and Mendel participated in meetings to develop the Principles. The speakers outlined the main standards contained in the Principles and highlighted their relevance in Indonesia, and the region, which faces challenges in realising both freedom of expression and equality.
The Principles outline, among other things:
- An overview of the key international standards regarding freedom of expression and equality.
- Aspects of the right to be heard and to speak, including through the promotion of diversity in the media.
- The need for legal and social measures to promote intercultural understanding.
- The legitimate scope of restrictions on harmful speech, including hate speech.
AJI and ARTICLE 19 call on States in Asia, as well as social actors such as the media, politicians and civil society organisations, to take steps to implement the standards set out in the Camden Principles, as well as to promote their widespread dissemination and acceptance.