Azerbaijan, Baku / Тrend corr K. Ramazanova, I. Ali-zade / The Secretary General of the International Federation of Journalists Aidan White called on Azerbaijani journalists to unify and stick to a common position. He made the statement at an international conference on freedom of speech and press in Baku on 19 November.
"Unfortunately, Azerbaijani journalists have split into two large groups rivalling each other. We want to strengthen unity and solidarity among journalists," he said.
According to White, civil legislation should be applied with respect to journalists. "Journalists should not be punished through the Criminal Code. Any person considering himself to be a victim of journalistic activities, has the right to apply to civil court and demand for a compensation," White said.
There are eight media representatives imprisoned in Azerbaijan on criminal defamation and other charges. Ganimat Zahid, the chief editor of the Azadliq newspaper was the latest to be imprisoned. On 11 November, the Yasamal District Court in Baku sentenced Zahid to a 2-month prison term for hooliganism and assault charges.