NOT EVERYONE CAN CONDUCT EVENTS IN INTERNATIONAL PRESS CENTER

September 11th, 2008
Today (11 September) the “Free, Transparent and Fair Elections” Coalition conducted a press conference in International Press Center (IPC). 

Although the organization promised to unveil the results of monitoring conducted on the pre-election situation in Azerbaijan, journalists were criticized during the event.

According to coalition member Eldar Ismayilov, political inactivity is reigning in the country, and this is the fault of the journalists. Ismayilov said journalists should write about elections and pre-election preparation mostly.

Tomorrow “Election 2008”NGO Coalition will conduct a seminar on the theme "Public Oversight Mechanisms in Free and Fair Elections: abilities, opportunities and problems" in the International Press Center.

Since July 17, the International Press Center has been closed for repairs indefinitely, and has turned away numerous people seeking to conduct events.

However, no repair work has been done in IPC during this period. The only changes Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety employees observed is that chairs in the small conference hall and in café of IPC have been removed, and there are fewer tables and chairs in the big conference hall of IPC.

IPC Director Azer Valiyev told the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety that repair work will be done in the press center. According to him, the kitchen is being repaired at present. “We want to remove the kitchen and dining hall. People, who conduct events here, do not dine here anyway,” he said.

IPC will continue its operations, but its doors will not be open to everybody. “We have contracts with “Election 2008” NGO Coalition and “Free, Transparent and Fair Elections” Coalition. There we’ll permit these organizations to conduct events in IPC. We hold trainings for the media, and we will carry out our events here as well,” said Valiyev. He refused to answer the question “Why not everyone is allowed to hold events in IPC” unanswered.

See photos taken at the IPC today: http://www.irfs.az/component/option,com_datsogallery/Itemid,30/func,viewcategory/catid,118/