May 3rd, 2011

On May 3, World Press Freedom Day, a group of journalists visited the grave of the late journalist Elmar Huseynov. Huseynov was the editor of Monitor magazine when he was murdered in front of his house back in March 2005.

Editors and representatives of media organizations today gathered to commemorate the journalist who lost his life standing up for press freedom in Azerbaijan.

Director of Turan Information Agency Mehman Aliyev said that the freedom of press situation is deteriorating, and that that this has been recognized internationally. Attacks on journalists rose this year after a brief respite during recent years.

 "Azadlig" newspaper editor, Ganimat Zahid, declared that even in the face of danger and repression, the free press is continuing to fight for free opinions.

Political expert Leila Aliyeva added that freedom of speech and expression is not only a priority for journalists, but also for society as a whole. Everyone needs to come together to protect this right.

 “Azadlig” newspaper columnist Rovshan Hajiyev, called upon Ombudsman Elmira Suleymanova to start doing her duty as a defender of the human rights and freedoms of journalists.

Sabir Huseynov, father of Elmar, said that the president had promised to solve the crime within 40 days, but seven years have passed since the murder– which remains unsolved. "This crime is not likely to be addressed by the current regime," he said.
U.S. Embassy Press secretary Keith Bean congratulated Azerbaijani journalists on the May 3 World Press Freedom Day, and wished them success in their struggle against the existing problems.

IRFS journalist Idrak Abbasov commented that assaults against journalists and bloggers have increased recently, naming Bakhtiyar Hajiyev and Jabbar Savalanli, who were active on social networks, and are now behind bars under what Abbasov deemed to be false charges. He reminded people that although the European Court of Human Rights ruled for the immediate release of journalist Eynulla Fatullayev, he is still in prison. Elmar Huseynov`s murderers have not been brought into justice.