NTRC WAITING FOR DECISION FROM HIGHER INSTANCES

February 12th, 2009
National Television and Radio Council Chairman Nushiravan Maharramli expressed his opinion about suggestions from the U.S. submitted to Azerbaijan’s government in connection with efforts to restore the FM broadcasts of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and Voice of America in Azerbaijan.

Maharamli told APA Information Agency that a contractual agreement has been submitted to the NTRC by Broadcasting Board of Governors. However, this contract agreement can only be realized through intergovernmental contracts, and therefore the project has been sent to higher instances. “Let them look, and evaluate; then we will adopt a decision,” Maharramli said.
In connection with this issue, the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety tried to contact NTRC Chairman N.Maharramli and to learn which organ is the “higher instance,” but the chairman did not answer our phone calls.
The FM broadcasts of "Radio Liberty," "Voice of America" and BBC in Azerbaijan were banned on 1 January 2009 on the basis of a decision that Azerbaijan's National Television and Radio Council issued on 30 December 2008.