INSTITUTE FOR REPORTERS` FREEDOM AND SAFETY STATEMENT REGARDING PORNOGRAPHY VIDEOS OF LIDER TV FOR THE PURPOSE OF SMEAR CAMPAIGN

October 27th, 2010
The Institute for Reporters` Freedom and Safety (IRFS) is very concerned over a smear campaign against Azadlig newspaper director Azer Ahmedov.

IRFS strongly condemns announcement of pornography videos of Azer Ahmedov in Lider TV several times as well as the broadcasting of these images during a news program at 7:00 p.m. on 25 October.
IRFS considers this  invasion of a media representative’s privacy unacceptable and disseminating pornographic videos about him in social networks without following any ethical norm inadmissible. It is inadmissible for children to be able to watch pornography.  
IRFS calls upon the Azerbaijani government, particularly the National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council to take serious measures regarding Lider TV.
 IRFS believes that these cases are not only being used against the critical newspaper Azadlig, but also against civil society and freedom of expression during the election period in Azerbaijan.  
The Pornographic video of Azer Ahmedov was posted on social networks on October 12th. However, the video was removed from the networks after society’s objection.  
IRFS considers this video is invasion into someone’s private life, which contradicts with Azerbaijan Republic Constitution and laws, as well as international agreements. IRFS considers that law enforcements bodies are used in the implementation of this campaign.   
IRFS calls on the Azerbaijani government to bring to justice the people who were involved in preparation of this video, and disseminated this video in social networks and in Lider TV.