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Deutsche Welle Director General Advocates a ‘Media Alliance for Human Rights’


Erik Bettermann speaks at a podium discussion with Herta Däubler-Gmelin and Amnesty International Secretary General Barbara Lochbihler.

Deutsche Welle Director General Erik Bettermann advocated an “international media alliance for human rights” at an event in Bonn yesterday. He said that the media, and especially independent international broadcasters are “an important factor in emphasizing the importance of human rights and the adoption of standards among even more countries throughout the world”. He went on to say that based on their shared values and worldwide presence, created through decades of hard work around the world, broadcasters like Deutsche Welle, BBC World Service and Radio France Internationale are “powerful instruments in giving human rights a voice”. He pointed out that their importance in transmitting information about human rights is often underestimated in Germany.

Bettermann said the prerequisites for the acceptance of these broadcasters /media services are credibility of the country they represent, as well as the credibility of the broadcaster itself. “Nothing is more damaging than double standards, disinterest or imbalanced reports,” said Bettermann. “In this regard, the media also has to report about the beneficiaries of human rights abuses – even when the chain of beneficiaries continues to our front door.” Bettermann announced that he would campaign for human rights along with the West’s leading international broadcasters. He went on to say that this also includes more clarification and presentation of correlations here at home.

The podium discussion, entitled “More Wrong than Human Rights”, took place on January 19, 2009 and included Herta Däubler-Gmelin, the Chairperson of the Human Rights Committee from the German Parliament, and Barbara Lochbihler, Secretary General from Amnesty International.


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