ILHAM ALIYEV EXPRESSES HIS POSITION ON ISSUE REGARDING FOREIGN RADIO STATIONS

February 2nd, 2009
President Ilham Aliyev expressed his position on discontinuing the broadcasting of foreign radio stations through national frequencies during an interview to “The Wall Street Journal.”

This was reported by “Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty” citing information from Azerbaijan’s State Telegraph Agency “Azer-Tag.”
“The decision of Azerbaijan's National Television and Radio Council was issued on the basis of a law that was adopted in 2002 and does not allow the broadcasting of foreign radios via local frequencies, and therefore this is not a prohibition,” said Ilham Aliyev.
Then the president noted that Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Voice of America and BBC can air their programs via shortwave radio. “They can continue their broadcasting through internet, cable TV and satellite,” added Ilham Aliyev. “There might be a misunderstanding about a ban imposed on them by us in the international press. We did not prohibit; we simply did this according to legislation. We have learned the situation in Europe. The situation there is the same. We are not restricting the media in Azerbaijan. They simply have to conform to the national legislation and norms existing in Europe.”
The broadcasts of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Voice of America and BBC via FM frequencies in Azerbaijan were ceased on 1 January 2009 on the basis of a decision that Azerbaijan's National Television and Radio Council issued on 30 December 2008.