US is not country it presents itself to be

US is not country it presents itself to be

Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 15

By Elchin Mehdiyev - Trend:

There is still censorship in the US, the chairman of the Central Asian & Southern Caucasian Freedom of Expression Network (CASCFEN) Azer Hasret said.

"The obstacles are created for media activity," he said. "Today journalists and ordinary citizens can not fully enjoy freedom of expression."

He was delivering speech during the hearings dedicated to "Human rights situation in the US. Foreign Policy Paradoxes" in Baku Jan. 15.

Hasret said that the US is promoted as a country where the rights and freedoms of citizens are undeviatingly ensured.

"On the contrary, human rights and freedoms, including the freedom of expression and freedom of media, are grossly violated almost every day," he said.

"In December 2010, a group of senators with Joe Lieberman forced to remove WikiLeaks from its server. At the beginning of the same month, Obama's administration banned the representatives of the state agencies and educational institutions to use WikiLeaks. But then the State Department denied this, although the US leading media outlets emphatically stressed this ban."

Hasret recalled that The Guardian wrote on December 3 of the same year that the Library of the US Congress, US Department of Commerce and other state agencies confirmed the ban to use WikiLeaks.

"In a letter of protest addressed to President Obama in the summer of 2014, around 38 journalist organizations called for the government to refuse from political pressure while disseminating the information on the federal authoritative bodies," he said. "We can say that such a mass protest was made for the first time in the US history."

He said currently, expressing concern over the current media situation in the US, the Committee to Protect Journalists in New York is collecting signatures for appealing to the US President Barack Obama.

"The appeal that was also signed by me demands to create normal working conditions for journalists, to stop any persecution in the US," he said.

The NGO head said that more specifically, three demands have been put forward in this appeal: the US president should instruct to stop the secret persecution of journalists and unlawful intervention into the devices used by media structures; to put an end to the aggressive attitude to journalists in the US; to put an end to legal persecutions aimed at attracting journalists to cooperation with intelligence services and blackmailing those who provide information.

He said there is widespread practice in the US to attract journalists to cooperation with intelligence services by using various methods of pressure.

"Police attacking journalists, arresting them during mass events is normal and usual for this country," he said. "The developments in Ferguson city when tens of journalists were beaten and arrested, is the example for this."

"Naturally, the point is that all this was committed by the police," said the NGO head.

He said that after the murder of black Michael Brown by the police on Aug.9, 2014, 52 journalists were subjected to violence by the police and 21 media representatives even were arrested, according to Pen American Center.

"The most interesting fact is that the international structures which state that human rights are protected in the US, do not react to these developments and try to prove to us that such events do not happen in this country," he said. "This means that these structures are also controlled by those who define the official political line of the US."

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