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On July 15 the first deputy editor of Azadliq newspaper, Rahim Hajiyev met with Western diplomats and representatives of international organizations at the office of the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety. The meeting was attended by the representatives from the EU’s and OSCE’s Baku Offices, German, British and French embassies in Baku and the United States Agency for International Development.
The theme of discussion of the meeting was the financial challenges facing the Azadliq and the pressures on the newspaper.
Hajiyev informed the meeting participants of the Gasid Press Distribution Company’s failure to pay its debt to the Azadliq which led to the crisis between the newspaper’s editorial office and Azerbaijan publishing company.
Hajiyev informed IRFS that unfortunately they didn’t have a chance to pay off their debts to the publishing house.
Though newspaper went out as usual today the situation remains severe. “The publishing house insists on the payment of debts, and we assure that a part of the payment will be made this week. Although we aren’t in position to pay it, we will continue our efforts”, said Hajiyev.
Background: On July 2 the Azadliq newspaper received a letter of warning from the Azerbaijan publishing company that the newspaper’s publication will be stopped unless its debt of up to 20,000 manats is paid. The publishing company noted that an aggregate debt of 19,937.80 manats (17,271 manats for publishing expenses and 2666.80 for utilities) had arisen by July 1 under the agreement signed between the Azerbaijan publishing house and the newspaper’s editorial office.
Azadliq is a daily newspaper published since December 24, 1989.