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Opinions & Interviews

12 Jul 2017

Lukashenko: True freedom of speech means not only freedom of choice but also responsibility

Lukashenko: True freedom of speech means not only freedom of choice but also responsibility

MINSK, 12 July (BelTA) – True freedom of speech is not only about choice, but also about responsibility for this choice, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said at the opening of the plenary meeting of the 19th World Congress of Russian Press in Minsk on 12 July, BelTA has learned.

“Imposing opinions on journalists and forcing some stereotypes on them is inadmissible. True freedom of speech, that is highly valued in Belarus, is not only about choice, but also about responsibility for it,” the Belarusian leader said.

Alexander Lukashenko noted that the World Congress of Russian Press has established itself as an important forum for professional communication. “When the question arose on whether to hold the congress in Minsk, we decided without much thinking to host the forum, specifically because you have always been responsible people. If it were otherwise, we would have found a reason for a refusal. The forum has no closed topics or idle talk. Only accurate facts and well-grounded opinions, like true journalism dictates. This makes you different from others, and you should preserve this,” the head of state said.

Alexander Lukashenko expressed hope that the event in Minsk will result in constructive initiatives to clean up the common information space from dirt and lies. “In due time Belarus has become a major venue for peaceful settlement. Our country has always been open to new contacts and information exchanges. Let us consider arranging a large-scale international forum in Minsk, sorts of Helsinki-2. Why not get together and invite politicians, scientists, culture and business people to join us in discussing issues of peace?” the Belarusian president suggested.

He said he would like to see the journalists’ community make a great contribution to this. “Let us think about this initiative that is open to all countries and people. I will always support you in such undertakings,” the Belarusian leader said.

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