The Presentation of the “Journalist Iniatives on Information Gathering in Nakhchivan” project was held in the press center of Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS) on September 23rd.
Project coordinator Rasul Jafarov said that the project, which is valued at 2500 USD and financed by Open Society Institute – Assistance Foundation, is planned to be implemented during September and October. Two reports – preliminary and final reports – will be prepared as a part of the project. According to Jafarov, only 5 of 45 state agencies in Nakhchivan have websites. These are the websites of Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies, the Nakhchivan office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Employment Service of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection, the Supreme Court and the Central Election Commission of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic.
“But there is not any useful information for citizens or journalists. Inquiries are sent to state agencies, but no response is received,” said Jafarov. He didn’t rule out submission of lawsuit to the court regarding violation of right to obtain information.
“According to the second clause of law on information collection, a citizen has the right to obtain information freely in Azerbaijan. But this clause is violated in Nakhchivan. Therefore, the project aims to explain to the state agencies that citizens and journalists have the right to obtain or request information from them,” noted the project-makers. They then recommended that state agencies create internet resources, improve current resources, and hold a special event with participation of civil society representatives on information gathering.