On January 22 in Gdańsk, Charge d’Affaires Aliu spoke at the Press Freedom Conference organized by the Ringier Axel Springer media group at the European Solidarity Center and supported by the U.S. Embassy.
The Press Freedom Conference is an annual international event to support journalists’ independence and to secure freedom of speech as a foundation of democracy.
Close to 300 participants from Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Germany, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Austria, U.K., Sweden, Montenegro, France and other countries participated in presentations and discussions on challenges related to political attacks on journalists and the spread of hate speech.
In his remarks, Charge Aliu stressed, “The U.S. Government’s views on press freedom has always been clear: any laws that seek to limit or undermine freedom of the press concern us and threaten democracy.”
Lech Wałęsa, former President of Poland and Nobel Peace Prize winner, gave the opening keynote address, saying that without the press, the success of the Solidarity movement would not have been possible. Jerzy Owsiak of The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity gave a presentation on his organization’s work, which also noted the tragic murder of Mayor Pawel Adamowicz at last year’s charity event. The Gdansk visit was also an occasion for Charge Aliu to also meet with Deputy Mayor of Gdańsk Alan Aleksandrowicz; Magdalena Adamowicz, Member of the European Parliament; Basil Kerski, director of the European Solidarity Center; and Mark Dekan, CEO of Ringier Axel Springer Media.