July 22nd, 2010

22nd July is National Press Day in Azerbaijan. 135 years have passed since the foundation of the National Press of Azerbaijan. Therefore journalists, representatives of journalist organizations, and diplomatic corps representives visited the graves of late journalists.     

The Founder of the national press, Editor-in-Chief of Akinchi (Farmer), Hasan Bey Zardabi’s grave in Fakhri Khiyaban (Honored Alley) was visited first. Then, the visitors went to the second Fakhri Khyaban to visit the grave of slain journalist, Monitor journal Editor-in-Chief Elmar Huseynov. While there, the group also visited the grave of Najaf Najafov who was the founder of the first independent press, Azadlig newspaper. Friends and colleagues placed flowers on their graves and prayed.


Following this, the event participants went to Shahidlar Khiyabani (Martyrs Lane) to visit the graves of martyred journalists and Azerbaijan National Heroes, Salatun Asgarova, Ali Mustafayev, Fakhraddin Shabazli, and Chingiz Mustafayev who were killed in the Garbabagh (Nagorniy Karabakh) war.

US Embassy Information Officer Keith Bean, Media Rights Institute (MRI) Director Rashid Hajili, Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety chairman Emin Huseynov, Extreme Journalism Institute chairman Idrak Abbasov, and MRI Program Coordinator Khalid Agaliyev spoke at the event. They stated that Azerbaijani press still has problems, and they regretted that Gundelik Azerbaijan and Realny Azerbaijan newspapers Editor-in-Chief  Eynulla Fatullayev, and bloggers Emin Milli and Adnan Hajizade remain in prison.


The first national press Akinchi (Farmer) was issued in Azerbaijan on 22nd July in 1975.