"Journalists were imprisoned for the crimes they committed. Their imprisonment doesn't have anything to do with their journalistic professionalism," said Elnur Abbasov, head of the Political Analysis and Information Department of the Presidential Administration, in response to the comment made by PACE's president Lluís Maria de Puig during his visit to in Azerbaijan.
De Puig emphasized that a special co-rapporteur might be appointed in September if the Azerbaijani government doesn't release the imprisoned journalists. According to APA, Aslanov said that the journalists in Azerbaijan were arrested because of crimes they committed, not because they are journalists.
On 20 June (the day when the 5th Congress of Azerbaijani journalists was conducted) Presidential Administration Socio-political department head Ali Hasanov said that the imprisonment of journalists negatively affects Azerbaijan's international image.