Yesterday, 24 December, the Media Rights Institute unveiled its annual report regarding legal situation of media in Azerbaijan.
It is said in the report that in 2009 media and journalists were subjected to physical and psychological attacks at least 49 times. 41 journalists were beaten and threatened due to their work. A big part of the physical attacks targeted critical media representatives. These attacks were committed by regular people, police and representatives of governmental organizations.
39 lawsuits were filed against media in the civil format in 2009. The plaintiffs demanded for 2 900 000 AZN in compensation (two million nine hundred thousand) from media and journalists for moral damages. 31 of these lawsuits were fulfilled partially. This amount (20 000 AZN) was smaller in comparison with previous years. Most of the time, the courts issued decisions for the media to apologize and publish a refutation.
There were 32 lawsuits filed against media in the special format (articles 147 and 148 of the Criminal Code for insult and defamation). 10 journalists were punished on the basis of these lawsuits.
The report covered situation regarding television and radio, internet and print media and specific recommendations regarding separate media sector.