On 8 June the Freedom of Expression Coordination Council conducted a roundtable discussion in the International Press Club. The pressure against Azerbaijan´s mass media was discussed and signatures were being gathered on an appeal to Council of Europe Secretary General Terry Davis. The appeal reads “The problems surrounding the safety of journalists have been stuck to this day in a very serious state.” (09-JUNE-07)
Written by Shahla Ismailova / HRH Baku on the basis of roundtable materials, photos by IPD
Institute for Peace and Democracy Director Leyla Yunus (on right) and Turan News Agency Director Mehman Aliyev (on right) gave general information about the situation on human rights and media freedoms.
In the appeal, which gives a brief history of the recent pressure against the press, the journalists ask Terry Davis to ensure that the freedom of expression situation in Azerbaijan is seriously discussed during the next PACE session. They also call for the decriminalization of defamation and libel. If the demands are not fulfilled the journalists ask that the Azerbaijani delegation´s voting rights be revoked in the January session.
The representatives of civil society organizations, political parties and international organizations attended the event. The process of collecting signatures to the appeal will be open until the 12-th of June.