December 18th, 2007

A group of journalists operating in Azerbaijan sent a letter to Terry Davis, Council of Europe Secretary General.

The letter involves the problems about journalists’ working regime under hard condition, pressures against Mass Media, assassination, invaliding and arrest of the journalists and fining of the newspapers. It is emphasized in the letter that, due to above mentioned problems 42 journalists left Azerbaijan and more than 20 correspondents appealed to the foreign embassies for asylums. The authors of the letter noted that, the realization of such severe political usage against the press is impossible without President Ilham Aliyev’s consent. At the same time a reference claiming G.Zahid’s innocence was also attached to the letter. “Azadlig” Newspaper Director Azar Ahmadov, “Yeni Musavat” Newspaper Editor-in-Chief Rauf Arifoglu, “Gundelik Azerbaijan” Newspaper Editor Shahvalad Chobanoglu and former correspondent of this newspaper Chingiz Sultansoy put their signatures to the letter.
 In his interview to the correspondent of the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety, Shahvalad Chobanoglu noted that, “While reviewing G.Zahid’s imprisonment, Terry Davis didn’t express any political motives during the arrest. He made a statement recently and he called Ilham Aliyev as his friend by this statement”. The reason for sending the letter was Terry Davis’s current position.