ARTICLE 19 is becoming increasingly concerned that acts of violence against journalists in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia are on the rise. According to a press release disseminated by the organization on 15 May 2009, previous attacks have seen a lack of independent and prompt investigation, creating a climate of impunity for the perpetrators and fear amongst journalists working in these countries.
In the press release the use of force against journalists on Flower Day holiday in Baku, Azerbaijan was noted, as was the failure to provide adequate information about the school shooting that occurred on 30 April 2009 in Baku.
ARTICLE 19 urges the Azerbaijan government to set up an independent investigation into the police violence surrounding this year’s “Flower Holiday” and promptly investigate police attacks on journalists and peaceful protesters. Members of the public were beaten and approximately 50 demonstrators were detained for a number of hours on this day, simply for exercising their right to free expression.
ARTICLE 19 also calls for a complete disclosure of the findings of the investigation into the killing of 13 people at the State Oil Academy in Baku on 30 April 2009. The Azerbaijani public has the right to know what happened and who was responsible for this unprecedented massacre.
The full statement can be viewed here: http://www.article19.org/pdfs/press/south-caucasus-continued-violence-against-journalists-symptomatic-of-ongoing.pdf