Increased repression of free media in Azerbaijan must stop, OSCE Representative says
TBILISI, 10 November 2014 – Following the detention of Azerbaijani blogger Mehman Huseynov, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović today said that the ongoing and increasing number of repressive actions against independent media and advocates of freedom of expression in Azerbaijan must stop.
“Practically all independent media representatives and media NGOs have been purposefully persecuted under various, often unfounded and disturbing charges,” Mijatović said.
Huseynov was detained at Baku Airport on 10 November when trying to depart for Tbilisi to attend the 11th South Caucasus Media Conference, invited by the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media. Huseynov was taken into police custody and released after several hours of questioning.
Mijatović further noted that Khadija Ismailova, a journalist with Radio Azadliq, also invited to the conference in Tbilisi, could not attend due to earlier travel restrictions imposed on her.
“I fully concur with the recent assessment made by the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muižnieks,” Mijatović said. “I repeat my call on the authorities in Azerbaijan to end this hostile attitude against free media.”
The Representative once again expressed her readiness to visit Baku to assist the authorities find ways to reverse this disturbing trend.
Mijatović is in Tbilisi for the 11th OSCE South Caucasus Media Conference.
The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media observes media developments in all 57 OSCE participating States. She provides early warning on violations of freedom of expression and media freedom and promotes full compliance with OSCE media freedom commitments. Learn more atwww.osce.org/fom, Twitter: @OSCE_RFoM and on facebook.com/osce.rfom.