July 20th, 2010

Voice of America (VOA) issued an article highlighting America’s stance on the situation regarding the freedom of media and speech in Azerbaijan.

“Serious challenges to media freedom remain in Azerbaijan, including the imprisonment of journalists,” the article reads. “On July 6th, imprisoned Azerbaijani journalist Eynulla Fatullayev was convicted on criminal charges of drug possession and sentenced to 2 and a half years imprisonment. The representative on media freedom for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe characterized the drug charges on which Mr. Fatullayev was convicted as ‘highly improbable.’ The U.S., EU, Norway, and others have expressed their concerns about the ruling. Amnesty International, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and other NGOs have called the Fatullayev July 6 conviction the latest attempt by the government to silence his reporting, which has been critical of the government."


The article also states, “As a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights, Azerbaijan is bound to comply with the rulings of the European Court. If it fails to comply, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe can impose a range of penalties. The United States government urges all governments, including the Government of Azerbaijan, to fully respect press freedoms, including the right to investigate and freely publish via both traditional and new internet-based media.”


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