The Gundam Khabar newspaper staff held a press conference at the IRFS press center today, to protest the Press Council’s appeal to the General Prosecutor’s Office’s Anti-Corruption Department with regard to the newspaper’s activity.
“It’s not clear to us why the Press Council has appealed to the Anti-Corruption Department. The newspaper staff believes that the Press Council is acting on a political order. The Anti-Corruption Department will not reveal the reason for the investigation, nor will the Press Council explain the grounds for its complaint,” said the newspaper’s founder Shirin Jafari.
Gundam Khabar is not a member of Press Council. Today’s speeches by the newspaper staff made it clear that their recent coverage had focused on criticism of the head of the Presidential Administration Ramiz Mehiyev, Transport Minister Ziya Mammadov and Minister of Emergency Services Kamaladdin Heydarov. “The fact that the Press Council went to the Prosecutor’s Office without ever clarifying the issue with us suggest that this is a political directive,” said newspaper employee Nasimi Sharafkhanli.
“The Press Council is acting beyond its remit. It is not an investigative body,” declared Khural newspaper editor-in-chief Avaz Zeynalli.
The staff said that the newspaper’s accounting records are completely transparent. The newspaper will send an inquiry to the Press Council, the General Prosecutor’s Office, and sue the Press Council for libel and damage to their image.