Yesterday the U.S. Helsinki Commission, also know as the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), sent a letter to Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev expressing concern over plans to terminate the broadcasts of Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) and Voice of America (VOA) on local frequencies in Azerbaijan.
The letter, signed by Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) and Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Co-Chairmen of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission), and Ranking Minority Member Congressman Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ), urges President Aliev to keep RFE/RL and VOA on the air, as he begins a new relationship with President-elect Barack Obama.
“It is our understanding that far fewer Azerbaijanis have access to internet and satellite than to FM radio. If RFE/RL and VOA broadcasts cease on FM, millions of Azerbaijanis will no longer be able to receive these programs,” it is written in the letter. “We strongly believe that would be a great loss for them. Instead of closing down FM broadcasts of RFE/RL and VOA, we would like to see Azerbaijan developing a more diverse, pluralistic media environment.”
To view the letter in its entirety, please follow this link: