Ideas” book to journalists and the public in the International Press Center.
suggestions are made about preparing a draft law on regulating the laws on freedom
of expression, the protection of journalists’ sources, and TV and Radio Frequencies.
In his opening speech, Media Rights Institute Director Rashid Hajili gave
explanations about the issues reflected in the book. He said, “The protection of the
journalist sources is one of the important issues today. There are critical
problems in this area. Without the protection of sources, journalists can’t function
effectively. Police who don’t have a network of agencies won’t be able to fight
criminals. And we cannot talk about real freedom of speech without having secret
information sources. The existence of secret information sources plays a vital role
in every editorial office, for every journalist. Journalists wouldn’t be able to
obtain serious facts without this.”
Hajili talked about the stabbing of Agil Khalil, and said that 100 journalists
received injuries during presidential elections in 2003. He emphasized that only one
of these cases, the case of Sahil Karimli, was investigated.
Hajili recalled all the pressured journalists, and added that the people responsible
for this have gone unpunished. He added that the journalists have a great need for
unity. He recommended working hard and carrying out discussions in the areas of
adopting this law, to find ways to attract international organizations to this
ABA-CEELI representative Katherine Larsen, who participated in the conference, said,
“From the point of view of American society, the protection of information sources
for journalists plays an important role in securing society. Court trials show that
journalists’ lives and sources should be fully protected. If confidentiality is not
ensured, these sources will be forced into silence. This draft law is one of the
very important means for protecting information sources and helping the press to
serve public interests.”
The Head of “Turan” News Agency Mehman Aliyev stated, “An outlet to information
sources is problematic enough in Azerbaijan. The adoption of these kinds of laws is
a requirement in our times. This should have happened long ago. We obtain
information in a roundabout way in Azerbaijan. The information that is supposed to
be given to us usually isn’t.”
Then R. Hajili said that the draft laws will be submitted to the Milli Mejlis in a
couple of days.