Committee for Protection of Freedom of Speech to Appeal to PACE Co-Rapporteur and International Organizations

Society Materials 13 February 2008 13:55 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, 13 February / corr. Trend S. Ilhamgizi/ The Committee for the Protection of Freedom of Speech will appeal to Yevgenia Jikova, the co-rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on Azerbaijan, the committee said to Trend on 13 February.

In her interview with the BBC Jikova said that the key problem of the media in Azerbaijan is that journalists are very close to the political powers. "Press members should keep away from political powers. As there are some contradictions in opinions that were told me, I do not rush in making a statement regarding the release of detained journalists in Azerbaijan," she said in her interview.

The committee meeting held on 12 February decided to appeal to the co-rapporteur in order to find out her attitude towards the situation on freedom of speech in Azerbaijan and the arrest of journalists.

The appeal will state that the contradictory opinion of Jikova causes concern in Azerbaijan and she will be asked to substantiate the words she said in her interview and express her position clearly.

The committee also decided to send a statement to international organizations concerning the trial of Ganimat Zahid, the editor-in-chief of the newspaper Azadlig.

Ganimat Zahid, the editor-in-chief of the newspaper Azadlig, one of the well-known newspapers in Azerbaijan and his brother Sakit Zahid an employee of the same newspaper, and Eynulla Fatullayev, editor-in-chief of the newspapers Realniy Azerbaijan and Gundelik Azerbaijan have been arrested.

The correspondent can be contacted at: [email protected]