Azerbaijan government calls for “hatred” of independent media

The International Federation of Journalists and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) condemned a May 31 statement by Azeri presidential spokesman Ali Hasanov calling for a show of ‘public hatred’ against independent media.

“This call by one of the government’s most senior spokespersons, is designed to increase the climate of fear and tension in which violence and impunity flourish,’ said Jim Boumelha, IFJ President. “It is an attack on journalism and the public’s right to oppose, to scrutinize and to hold government to account.”

To be honest, the call fits right in with the mentality of the dictatorship that has controlled Azerbaijan since its break away from the former Soviet Union.

The recent Freedom House report on Nations in Transit show Azerbaijan to be a worthy successor to the Soviet Union and other dictatorships.

Here is the summary on press freedom:

Independent Media. The regime’s systematic suppression of independent broadcast, print, and online media has effectively silenced public debate. In 2011 pressure against online activists increased. Violent attacks on opposition journalists continued in 2011, with full impunity for perpetrators. Libel continues to be a criminal offense. On a more positive note, newspaper editor Eynulla Fatullayev, whose release had been ordered by the European Court of Human Rights in April 2010, was finally set free in May after four years in prison on politically motivated charges. Overall, Azerbaijan’s media situation remains unchanged, therefore, the independent media rating stays at 6.75.

‘Nuff said!

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Filed under Censorship, Europe, Press Freedom

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