MINISTER OF INTERIOR ADDRESSES LETTER TO U.S. HELSINKI COMMISSION

January 30th, 2009
Azerbaijan’s Minister of Interiorr Elmar Mammadyarov has addressed a letter to the U.S. Helsinki Commission Leadership in connection with foreign radio stations in the country.

According to “Radio Liberty”, Elmar Mammadyarov’s letter has been addressed to Alcee L. Hastings, Benjamin Cardin and Christopher Smith, who are represented in the leadership of the U.S. Helsinki Commission. It is noted in the letter that the broadcasts of foreign radios’ were ceased according to the “Law on TV and Radio Broadcasting” adopted in 2002 in Azerbaijan.
The Helsinki Commission considers the decision to close foreign radio stations negative. Chairman of the Commission Alcee L. Hastings evaluated this as restriction of access to information by the public. This decision will affect the relations between Azerbaijan and USA negatively, said Alcee L. Hastings.
The broadcasts of "Radio Liberty", "Voice of America" and BBC via FM frequencies in Azerbaijan were ceased on 1 January 2009 on the basis of a decision that Azerbaijan's National Television and Radio Council issued on 30 December 2008. At present, these radios continue their broadcasting through shortwave radio, internet and cable TV.