05 May 2019, 11:46

Journalists claim absence of media freedom in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan has problems with access to information and an extremely limited advertising market; journalists are harassed; and websites are blocked, participants of the conference in Baku have stated. They called on the authorities to ensure the freedom of local media.

The conference "Media Freedom in Azerbaijan" was held in Baku on May 3; it was organized by the Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety (IRFS) and timed to the World Press Freedom Day.

The media freedom starts with the journalists' personal freedom, Mekhman Guseinov, the Chairman of the IRFS has stated. According to his story, it is necessary to ensure the release of the arrested journalists. He himself left the jail two months ago.

Mekhman Aliev, the Director of the "Turan" News Agency, has treated the situation with media in Azerbaijan as critical and reminded that the country was ranked the 166th in the World Press Freedom Index published by the website of the Reporters Without Borders (RWB).

Alesker Mamedli, a media expert, called website blocking a new problem.

Mustafa Gadjibeili, the editor-in-chief of the website "Bastafo.com", has noted the increased pressure on online media. He himself was sentenced to 5.5 years of conditional imprisonment on charges of public appeals against the state.

Parviz Gashimli, a former political prisoner, has noted that his website "gününsesi.info" was blocked without a court decision because of the coverage of the assassination attempt on the head of the city of Ganja in July 2018.

It should be noted here that the authorities of Azerbaijan deny any restrictions on the freedoms of the media and self-expression.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on May 4, 2019 at 11:19 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Faik Medjid; Source: CK correspondent

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