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Minister Lipavský Met the New President of Radio Free Europe and the Journalism Scholarship Fellows
Photo: © MZV ČR / MFA CZ
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Minister Lipavský Met the New President of Radio Free Europe and the Journalism Scholarship Fellows

 

On Thursday, 25 January, Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský met with the new director of Radio Free Europe (RFE/RL), Stephen Capus, who took up his post at the beginning of January. The Minister also welcomed a group of scholarship holders from Belarus, Russia, Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, Montenegro and Kosovo.

“Support for independent media, freedom of expression, dissemination of uncensored information and the fight against disinformation are among the long-term activities of Czech foreign policy. I am very pleased that we are cooperating so closely with Radio Free Europe, which plays an important role in this field and which represents a beacon of information for many people from countries where it is difficult to obtain uncensored information,” the minister said.

Director Capus thanked for the cooperation and support but regretted that the situation of journalists in the world, especially in non-democratic regimes, continues to deteriorate. He mentioned Alsu Kurmasheva, a journalist with RFE/RL's Prague office, who has been in detention in Russia for exactly 100 days. "Alsa is our favourite colleague in an institution that proudly fulfills its mission. Russia should release her immediately and without conditions," said Mr. Capus. Minister Lipavský assured him that Czechia has been monitoring the case intensively since its beginning.

In the discussion that followed, the Minister and Mr. Capus talked in particular about the challenges facing the media in the scholarship recipients' countries of origin.

At RFE/RL's Prague bureau, young journalists participate in the six-month Václav Havel and Jiří Dientsbier Journalism Fellowships, awarded jointly by the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs and RFE/RL. 

The Václav Havel Journalism Fellowship programme has been running since 2011 on the basis of a joint initiative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and RFE/RL and aims to support young talented and promising journalists from the Eastern Partnership countries and Russia. This successful project was followed up in 2015 by the Jiří Dientsbier Journalism Fellowship, which has the same goal and is intended for journalists from the Western Balkan countries.

Minister Lipavský Met the New President of Radio Free Europe and the Journalism Scholarship Fellows
Minister Lipavský Met the New President of Radio Free Europe and the Journalism Scholarship Fellows
Minister Lipavský Met the New President of Radio Free Europe and the Journalism Scholarship Fellows

 

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