June 30th, 2010

A two day conference and seminar called “Values of New Media Era” began in Baku. The event is held with financial support of the European Broadcasting Union, Norwegian Public Broadcasters- SVT, UR, Yle DR and NRK, and with the partnership of Azerbaijani Media Centre. 

European Broadcasting Union Chief Director Ingrid Deltenre opened the event and said that it is no accident that this event is held in Baku. According to the chief director, there are shortcomings in the field of freedom of speech and media in Azerbaijan and holding this event in Baku is a call to remove these shortcomings.  


Azerbaijani Presidential Administration Socio-political Department Head Ali Hasanov delivered a speech. He said in his speech that Azerbaijani media does not have serious problems, but some minor problems that are being solved.


OSCE former representative on freedom of media, Colombia University Doctor Miklos Haraszhti spoke about three main problems in Azerbaijani media. He criticized the continuous imprisonment of Realniy Azerbaijan and Gundalik Azerbaijan newspaper’s editor-in-chief Eynulla Fatullayev, bloggers-Emin Abdullayev and Adnan Hajizade, the delaying of adopting a law on "Defamation” and the government’s statements regarding licensing of the internet.


The event continued with questions and answers and mutual accusations. The main criticisms were regarding the operation of Public TV and State TV channels and the government’s failure to execute the decision of the European Court of Human Rights to immediately release Eynulla Fatullayev. Presidential Administration Representative Ali Hasanov strongly objected to these criticisms.


In response to a question from Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety Chairman Emin Huseynov regarding the reasons for the failure to create new Public TV channels in place of state financed AzTV and Sport-Azerbaijan TV channels, Ali Hasanov objected in a severe and emotional manner.

The event began on 30 June and will end on 1 July.