President Aliyev: Freedom of speech fully ensured in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan, Baku, July 22 / Trend M. Aliyev /
The freedom of speech has been fully ensured in Azerbaijan, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said today, speaking at a ceremony of opening the building for journalists on the occasion of the 138th anniversary of the National Press Day.
The President congratulated the journalists in connection with this solemn day and wished them success in their work.
"Today we have gathered on this beautiful opening ceremony," the president stressed. "A new building will be commissioned for journalists today. I congratulate you on this happy occasion. I can say that this initiative is being implemented for the first time in the world. I am very pleased that Azerbaijan is a leader in this sphere as well. Because, as it is known, journalism is a very hard, responsible profession, but most journalists cannot buy flats in these houses on their salaries. Therefore, I believe that this was the most acceptable initiative to reward journalists who have worked for many years in journalism and who have shown professionalism in their sphere."
The President noted that the initiative put forward by journalists at a meeting with the press representatives was immediately supported and such a beautiful building was rapidly built.
"I am confident that a complex will be created around the building in the future. The building itself is very nicely located. It has a magnificent view on the Flag Square. This whole area will be landscaped and new infrastructure facilities are planned to be created. Baku Art City, i.e. the art campus, is planned to be created. The Palace of Water Sports is being built. So, the construction work will be accelerated in this zone. I am sure that we will often meet with you at these ceremonies."
Azerbaijani President noted that among those who got flats in this house are the representatives of various press bodies, people with different political views, which is natural.
"This initiative shows once again that there is not and must not be difference in Azerbaijan in this sphere. So, I believe that there is a healthy atmosphere, a healthy environment and, of course, journalists' professionalism in the society. Their activity in public opinion shaping more improves this healthy sphere."
The President noted that the great leader Heydar Aliyev's initiative on the abolition of censorship practically served as an impetus for the development of the press.
"The freedom of the press is out of question in a country with censorship. I believe that the process of complete formation of the Azerbaijani press has started since that day. The freedom of speech is fully ensured in Azerbaijan today. Press bodies are operating and of course, censorship is out of the question. At the same time, Azerbaijan made its presence felt in the use of modern technologies, and as it is known Internet journalism is rapidly developing in Azerbaijan today, and the country has completely free internet."
"The state programs are being rapidly implemented, including those through the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan," he added. "Each city will be provided with broadband internet. Today, the number of Internet users exceeds 70 percent".