INSTITUTE FOR REPORTERS` FREEDOM AND SAFETY STATEMENT

March 9th, 2010
The Institute for Reporters` Freedom and Safety condemns the restriction of access to Radio Liberty’s website by internet providers operating in Azerbaijan and assesses this as censorship by Azerbaijan government on the internet indirectly. 

On 6 March, at 3:00 p.m., access to Radio Liberty’s website from several internet providers operating in Azerbaijan was restricted.  Comprehensive information regarding this issue was disseminated on the “Facebook” social network. This restriction is still being continued.

IRFS does not rule out the possibility that due to the fact that an Azeri version of the critical article regarding Azerbaijan leadership published in the Washington Post was put onto Radio Liberty’s website is the reason for this censorship.

IRFS declares that everybody has the right to freedom of expression according to local and international legislation. The restriction of access to Radio Liberty’s website violates article 50 (freedom of information) of the Constitution of Azerbaijan Republic and article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention of Human Rights.

IRFS calls on the providers impeding access to Radio Liberty’s website to respect laws and to urgently eliminate this constraint.

IRFS calls on the Ministry of Communication and Information Technologies, the “Aztelecom” Production Union and other relevant organizations to investigate this issue and hold the perpetrators accountable.