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ICRC conducts media workshop in Kohima
Correspondent KOHIMA, FEB 10 (NPN)
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Published on 11 Feb. 2010 12:27 AM IST
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Freedom can be suspended by a state during emergency but right to life cannot as per the Geneva Convention, said deputy head of regional delegation, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Yahia Alibi here today. The Geneva Convention prohibits torture, degrading treatment, violence to life or person and hostage taking, Alibi said while addressing a one-day workshop for journalist organized by Indian Red Cross Society, Nagaland State Branch at Red Cross complex. Enlightening on the background and objectives of International Committee of the Red Cross, which was formed 150 years ago, he said the idea behind the ICRC was that even during war, there should be some limit or rules so as to save space for humanity. The ICRC has been given the legal mandate by Geneva Convention to protect and assist people during conflict and violence and by which protecting human and dignity of humanity was its prime objective. A total of 194 countries have signed and ratified the Geneva Convention and are members of the ICRC, he said. Exhorting on the importance of dissemination of information during conflict and war, Alibi said media plays a very important role during war and armed conflict. Also, underscoring the need for media to be aware of basic military principle and the International humanitarian law, he said if journalists were not aware the rules and convention, it was difficult to report war and conflict. Further, saying that in war and conflict “we share many interests and dilemma”, he said media could influence those affected populace. Stressing on the importance of maintaining neutrality which was very difficult, the ICRS deputy head of regional delegation said journalists were protected under Geneva Convention. Earlier, the workshop begun after keynote address by Editor Nagaland Post Geoffrey Yaden, who graced the inaugural function as chief guest. In his speech, Geoffrey illustrated the power of the pen when Henry Dunant, a young Swiss businessman wrote a book on the horrors of war. He said Henry Dunant’s book touched the hearts of people who responded by convening a convention in Geneva 146 years ago that gave birth to the Red Cross. He encouraged journalists to write with objectivity and passion so as to touch the hearts of people for change.Lauding the state Red Cross which completed around 27 years, Geoffrey also hoped it would play a more active role in the days to come. On the part of journalists , he said that by giving due attention to correct information on various aspects, they can contribute their mite to society by giving proper coverage to organizations such as the Red Cross that serve society. ICRC communication officer Surinder Singh Oberoi also addressed the workshop as resource person. He gave presentation on ICRC mandate and mission and conflict reporting and international humanitarian law. The programme was chaired by IRCSN vice chairman H. Hesso, who also delivered welcome address. Introduction of delegates was conducted by general secretary IRCSN Zakie Kire, who later proposed vote of thanks. Participants included representatives from IPR, DDK, AIR and all local newspapers. During the workshop participants were shown film spots titled ‘Our World/Your Move’.

 
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