EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT ADOPTS RESOLUTION REGARDING SITUATION OF FREEDOM OF SPEECH IN AZERBAIJAN

December 19th, 2009
Yesterday, 17 December, according to Radio Liberty the European Parliament adopted a resolution critical of the situation of media freedom in Azerbaijan.

During the discussions most of the deputies criticized the Azerbaijani government seriously, and called for the immediate release of imprisoned journalists and for the restoration of foreign radio stations’ broadcasts via FM.

Deputy from Poland Ryszard Legutko said that the imprisonment of two people for their criticism shows that authoritarian regime exists in Azerbaijan.

"We should interfere,” said the deputy. “Sometimes this is effective, sometimes difficult, because, institutional reforms take longer with the authoritarian regimes. We should continue criticisms despite this".

Irish Deputy Joe Higgins called the situation regarding human rights in Azerbaijan “horrible.” “There is no freedom of media, tens of journalists have been arrested during the last few years, and some of them were beaten or killed. We should demand a response from the Aliyev regime.”

Estonian Deputy Tunne Kelam gave a statement during the session, "We call on Azerbaijani authorities to release the journalists in jail without further delay. This concerns also two young bloggers. We ask for the Azerbaijani authorities’ decision to renew the FM radio licenses of the international broadcasters BBC World Service, Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.”

At the end of the session, a resolution was adopted.