INSTITUTE FOR REPORTERS’ FREEDOM AND SAFETY STATEMENT

April 14th, 2010
The Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS) condemns the police interference in the professional work of journalists today, 14 April, during a protest action that Musavat Party attempted to conduct and assesses this as violation of right to obtain information.

Plain clothed persons controlled by police officers blocked the journalists who wanted to prepare a reportage and film the event. The journalists were then pushed and distanced from the area.  
IRFS declares that the act of preventing media representatives from doing their professional work and filming is a violation of journalists’ rights to gather and distribute information. This incident contradicts article 50 (freedom of information) of the Constitution of the Azerbaijan Republic and article 10 of the European Convention for the Human Rights and fundamental freedoms. In addition, interference in journalists’ work creates liability under article 163 of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan Republic.
IRFS calls on Azerbaijan’s government and law-enforcement organs to respect international and local laws, create conditions for normal work of journalists and punish those who interfere in the work of journalists and employ pressure against them.