THOMAS HAMMERBERG TALKS ABOUT SITUATION OF AZERBAIJANI PRESS

February 27th, 2008
UN Human Rights Commissioner on Human Rights Thomas Hammerberg talked about speech and press freedom in Azerbaijan during his interview to "BBC" radio yesterday.

He said, "To solve this problem the legislation should be changed, the article on defamation should be removed from the Criminal Code and no journalist should face the danger of being arrested for his or her writings.  When a defamation case occurs the journalist should be involved in a civil court proceeding and a fine should be determined to pay for damages." Hammerberg emphasized that he met with some of Azerbaijan’s imprisoned journalists and was familiar with their writings through translated materials. He said he couldn't notice anything that would contribute to the journalists' arrest. He also added that the imprisoned journalists should be released from prison.