April 13th, 2009
The Legal Enlightenment of Sumgayit Youth (LESY) Public Union has filed a lawsuit against the National TV and Radio Council (NTRC), because the NTRC refuses to grant a license to LESY to open a regional TV channel in Sumgayit city. LESY President Elchin Mammadli told this to the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety.

At the end of the last year, LESY appealed to the NTRC for a license to open a new television in Sumgayit, according to Mammadli. However in a response letter addressed to LESY by the NTRC, it was indicated that one of the most important criteria for opening a new regional television channel is demand by the population.
“We gathered five thousand signatures from city residents that want a new TV channel to be opened in Sumgayit and submitted this to the NTRC,” said Mammadli. “But we have been told by the NTRC that there’s no need to open a new TV channel in Sumgayit.”
If local instance courts don’t fulfill our lawsuit, added Mammadli, we’ll appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.
Saying that an appeal to open a new TV channel in Sumgayit was sent to the NTRC long ago, NTRC Deputy Chairman Togrul Mammadov noted that the opening of new TV channels is done in accordance with legislation, through tender only. “’Dunya’ TV channel operates in Sumgayit. NTRC carries out a balanced policy in the regions, and new TV channels can be opened through tenders in areas where there are no regional TV channels.”