Head of expression freedom Network: Several foreign media outlets conduct illegal agitation in Azerbaijan (PHOTO)

Head of expression freedom Network: Several foreign media outlets conduct illegal agitation in Azerbaijan (PHOTO)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 24 / Trend /

The Chairman of the Central Asian and Southern Caucasian Freedom of Expression Network (CASCFEN) Azer Hasret called on a number of foreign media outlets operating in Azerbaijan to respect the laws of the country.

Freedom of expression Network monitors foreign media outlets in connection with the upcoming presidential elections on October 9, Hasret said on Tuesday.

In this context the attitude demonstrated by the Voice of America and Freedom radio stations, which are financed by the U.S. Congress, create serious questions.

One of these radio stations is openly involved in the agitation-propaganda campaign of one of the presidential candidates, which is not only contrary to the laws of Azerbaijan, but also is a lack of respect for the state and the people as a whole, Hasret said.

"They are openly involved in the agitation of the candidate of the National Council Jamil Hasanli. Observations show that the Freedom radio station was broadcasting the rally of the National Council, held on September 22, within the framework of agitation-propaganda campaign from the beginning to the end. There even were a variety of reports from the scene in this regard. This is an open agitation in favour of one particular candidate. Additionally, the website of the Voice of America radio station posted a video with a speech of the presidential candidate at the rally. These all, together with the contradiction to Azerbaijani laws, are no more than a biassed attitude of foreign radio stations to internal political processes, taking place in the country," CASCFEN Chairman said.

Hasret noted that, in accordance with the Article 90.2.1 of the Electoral Code such an approach of foreign radio channels can create serious problems, and urged the Central Election Commission of Azerbaijan to pay attention to this issue.

It should be reminded that, according to this article, foreign governments and foreign legal entities can not support candidates in any form - "voluntary allocation of benefits in kind, or by providing services".

Demonstrating such a behaviour, the Voice of America and Freedom radio stations violate the principles of media, on which they rely and about which they are constantly talking, Hasrat underscored.

Actions of a number of journalists of these structures as one of the parties in the political processes are contrary not only to their internal principles, but also to the principles of international journalism in general, he said.

"At a time when we are striving to ensure that the media outlets functioned independently, not as participants of political processes, such behaviour of radio channels of a country like the United States, the cradle of democracy, is unacceptable," Hasret said.

CASCFEN Chairman urged the presidential candidate Jamil Hasanli to oppose such a 'disservice' of foreign radio stations.

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