MIKLOS HARASZTI SAYS PERSECUTION OF JOURNALISTS IS CENSORSHIP

January 25th, 2008
“Violence against the journalists must be stopped and people who are responsible for such violence must be immediately punished,” OSCE Media Freedom Representative Miklos Haraszti said during a press conference at the headquarters of the Council of Europe yesterday.

“Governments need to not only investigate incidents of violence, they also create safe conditions for journalistic activity. The criminal prosecution of journalists is admissible, because it causes censorship. Any time an editor feels persecution they self-censor themselves, and this is unacceptable in a democratic society.”  
According to “Turan” News Agency, M. Haraszti, speaking about Azerbaijan’s press, said he welcomed the presidential decree on pardon issued this past December. But he added that these types of decrees are issued every year. M.Haraszti also said, “I have appealed to Azerbaijan’s government to release all of the imprisoned journalists seven times. I have also spoken via telephone with the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan three times.”