Azerbaijan, Baku / Тrend corr E. Huseyn-zadeh / The US Secretary of State's Advisor Daniel Fried met with the Azerbaijani Ambassador to the United States Yashar Aliyev on 22 November and expressed his concern regarding the media situation in Azerbaijan, the US Ambassador to Azerbaijan Anne Derse said to journalists on 23 November.
"Your state bodies should cooperate with the mass media. That will enable you to seriously advance in the future. Azerbaijan is a very strong State in terms of potential, and if you make use of it you will turn it to the leader of the region," Derse quoted Fried.
There are nine media representatives imprisoned in Azerbaijan for 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.
According to Derse, it seems like Azerbaijan pursues a policy intended against free press.
"I know many people in the Azerbaijani Government and different NGOs who wish for Azerbaijan to have a happy future and to turn to a genuine leader in the region," Derse said.