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In the part about Azerbaijan the Azerbaijan authorities have been accused of arbitrarily imprisoning journalists and mistreating them in jail. Among the violations, the death of the editor-in-chief of Talyshi Sado newspaper Novruzali Mammadov in custody on 17 August 2009, police pressure against Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety Chairman Emin Huseynov, Elmar Huseynov, whose murder remains unsolved, and imprisoned journalist Eynulla Fatullayev have been mentioned.
In his interview to BBC Azerbaijan, William Horsley explained the significance of this report.
“In this report generalized information related to the media freedom, pressure against journalists, their arrest and restrictions against their activities in the Council of Europe area was presented to the Council of Europe parliament members during the last three years,” said W.Horsley. “The main result is that, journalists’ situation became more challenging both in Eastern and in Western Europe. The situation in media sector became worse in some countries including Azerbaijan, Russia, Belarus, and Moldova. The press freedom is under danger in these countries."
Horsley said that the council of Europe is concerned about the number of journalists arrested in Azerbaijan which is more than in other countries of Europe.
“We are concerned about the sentence against “Nota Bene” newspaper’s three journalists, and the imprisonment of two of them on defamation charges, the arrest of fanat.az website’s employees for defamation,” said Horsley.
Horsley added that the Council of Europe rejects the use of defamation in the criminal code and considers it unacceptable. The Council of Europe and the representatives of other international organizations brought this issue up before the Azerbaijan several times.
To read the full report: http://assembly.coe.int/CommitteeDocs/2009/20091026_HorsleyReport.pdf