M. HARASZTI: “POPULATION OF AZERBAIJAN HAS RIGHT TO RECEIVE NEWS FROM FOREIGN RADIO STATION”

December 6th, 2008
OSCE Special Representative for Media Freedom Miklos Haraszti met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Elmar Mammedyarov in the city of Helsinki.

APA News Agency reported this. According to APA, Haraszti has told the press that he expressed concern to Mammedyarov about plans to cease the broadcasts of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Voice of America (VOA) and thr British Broadcasting Company (BBC).

“This decision will have negative on the pluralism of ideas within the country,” said Haraszti. “Therefore it is necessary to change the legislation.” Haraszti then added that the “population of Azerbaijan has a right to receive news from foreign radio stations.”

Haraszti also went on to say, “I am not concerned how this matter will affect Azerbaijan-U.K. and Azerbaijan-U.S. relations. I am defending the principles of the OSCE. Elmar Mammedyarov promised me that he will look into this matter.”

Haraszti also commented on this decision to allow imprisoned journalists Ganimet Zahid and Sakit Zahidov to attend their father’s funeral.

“I am hopeful that after this step the journalists will be released and the sad occurrences regarding the arrests of Azeri journalists will end,” said Haraszti.