MIJATOVIC LEAVES AZERBAIJAN HOPING FOR SPEEDY RESOLUTION OF PROBLEMS IN AZERBAIJAN

May 13th, 2011
OSCE Representative on Freedom of Media, Dunja Mijatovic, hopes for a speedy resolution of problems in Azerbaijan with the freedom of the media, which she discussed during her visit to Baku on 9-13 May.

Mijatovic said she visited the imprisoned journalist Fatullayev, and noted his "excellent spirit" that pleased her. The prison management gave assurances that they provided the man's security.
Mijatovic gave a positive answer to the question as to whether or not she called on President Ilham Aliyev to release Fatullayev. Moreover, at a meeting with the President she raised the issue of the arrested youth activists, and, in particular, the recently convicted Jabbar Savalanli.
Noting that the meeting with Aliyev was "in a positive atmosphere," Mijatovic expressed a hope for early release of Fatullayev and Savalan.
Additionally, she urged the authorities to investigate two recent cases of the kidnapping and beating of the Azadlyg newspaper's employees Seymour Khaziyev and Ramin Deco, and also to find the perpetrators and customers of Elmar Huseynov's killing.
According to Mijatovic, the government, the civil society and the citizens should be intolerable to the facts of physical attacks on journalists.
In addition, she called on the Azerbaijani authorities to reform the National TV/Radio Council and ensure its independence. "Only in this case can we ensure pluralism on TV and radio," she said.
Mijatovic expressed dissatisfaction with the answers to her questions of the authorities in connection with the cessation of broadcasting frequencies to the local radio stations of the Voice of America, Liberty and BBC.