July 5th, 2008
National TV and Radio Council (NTRC) Chairman Nushiravan Maharramli says that the SMS sent by viewers during some live programs contain expressions contrary to morals, and he considers this unacceptable.

According to Trend News Agency, N. Maharramli recommended TV channels eliminate this type of problem.

Maharramli emphasized that according to current legislation, there’s nothing they can do about this, and this issue will be considered when TV channels extend their license term. “If they don’t follow our recommendations, we can tell them that we don’t want to work with them when the time comes to extend their license term,” he said.

Currently all TV channels in Azerbaijan (except AZTV) accept SMS during live programs and these SMS are aired in the lower most part of the screen.
On the day (7 November 2007) when “Azadlig” newspaper editor-in-chief Ganimat Zahid was detained the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety sent SMS to the number shown on one TV channels during a live broadcasting which read “Free Ganimat Zahid!” However, this was never seen on TV. This gives us grounds to state that SMS sent are censored.