January 30th, 2008

According to today’s edition of “Gun Sahar” Newspaper, the World Press Freedom Committee, which unites 45 media freedom organizations from around the world, sent a letter to President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev..


In the letter, the pardoning of some journalist this past December is applauded, however the fact that four journalists remain in prison, Eynulla Fatullayev, Sakit Zahidov, Ganimat Zahidov and Mushfig Husenyov, is assessed negatively. The 2 year corrective labor sentence handed down to “Khural” Newspaper Chief Editor Avez Zeynalli and the 1.5 year corrective sentence handed down to “Khural” Newspaper correspondent Vugar Alekberov (Gurdganli) in January are assessed as continuing pressure against the press.
To consider insult a crime allows officials to shield themselves from society and the press,” it is written in the letter. “Unfortunately, some countries including Azerbaijan, through the use of punishment particularly against the press and journalist, have turned this into a dangerous weapon. This creates obstacles for the free flow of information in democratic societies.”
The letter is signed by WPFC Executive Director E. Markham Bench.