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According to Rahim Hajiyev, press distribution system in the country has been virtually destroyed; new Press kiosks are not interested in selling newspapers. According to him, this situation is a result of government policies that prohibit the sale of newspapers in streets, saying that the street vendors impede traffic.
IRFS declares that there is a strict state control over opposition and independent media in Azerbaijan. Small-circulation newspapers are provided with advertisements, while leading print outlets as Azadlig face advertising bans. Even the sale of the Azadlig newspaper was prohibited in some regions from time to time.
IRFS reminds that Azadlig newspaper has been ordered to pay huge fines due to defamation lawsuits, (e.g. 30,000 manat to Baku Metro head Tagi Ahmadov and 4,000 manat to businessman Anar Mammadov), and significant financial strain of the newspaper is result of a larger government strategy to silence alternative opinions.
IRFS urges the Azerbaijani government to end the pressure on the opposition and independent media and calls on the public officials to be tolerant to alternative opinions and criticisms.