Azerbaijan, Baku / Trend / The Council of Europe Special Representative of the Secretary General in Baku, Denis Bribosia, briefed the media on 10 December that the Council of Europe is concerned by the recent events taking place in Azerbaijan with regards to freedom of speech and human rights.
"The Secretary General of the Council of Europe has repeatedly called on European countries, including Azerbaijan, to adopt a law on defamation and we hope that the governments will finally take up this challenge," he said.
Last week another journalist was arrested in Azerbaijan. Ilgar Nasibov, a journalist from Azadlyg ('Freedom') radio in Nakchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan, was sentenced to three months in prison. The reasons for the arrest have not been revealed.
"His arrest is not linked to his journalistic activities," said Azerbaijan's Ombudsman, Elmira Suleymanova, on 9 December. She did not speak in detail, saying that she had no official information.
Today nine journalists have been charged regarding their professional activities. The prosecuted journalists were mainly accused of slander and insult.
All citizens should answer before the courts if they violate the law, but not for their professional activities, Bribosia said.
"It is possible to expect the detained journalists to be pardoned in the near future," said the Head of the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration, Ramiz Mehdiyev, on 10 December. According to him, pardoning is by the State Head of Azerbaijan and he periodically issues such orders. "I think that this process will continue," he said.