Yesterday the U.S. Helsinki Commission conducted a hearing on human rights and democracy in Azerbaijan.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor David Kramer, Freedom House Director Christopher Walker, and Azerbaijan’s Ambassador to the USA Yashar Aliyev acted as witnesses.
During the hearing, the situation of press freedom was touched on. It was noted that there are still wrongfully imprisoned journalists in Azerbaijan and defamation remains a crime. Participants in the hearing called on the Azerbaijani government to objectively investigate the attacks on “Azadlig” Newspaper correspondent Agil Khalil and Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety Chairman Emin Huseynov.
Other issues touched on include imprisoned former minister of economic development Farhad Aliyev, the annulment of the Election Monitoring Center’s registration and political prisoners.
A complete transcript of the hearing is available here: http://csce.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=ContentRecords.ViewDetail&ContentRecord_id=436&Region_id=0&Issue_id=0&ContentType=H,B&ContentRecordType=H&CFID=17060147&CFTOKEN=92448544