Washington Calls on Azerbaijani Government to Begin Dialogue with Media and Civil Society
Azerbaijan, Baku, 4 April / corr. Trend K. Ramazanova/ Active conditions for journalists have become very difficult in Azerbaijan recently, Anne Derse, the U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan said in Baku on 4 April.
The U.S. diplomat called on the Azerbaijani government to begin discussions with the mass media and civil society. "Great effort should be made to form the media as a democratic institute," said Derse.
Three journalists are currently detained in Azerbaijan.
Imprisoned Fatullayev went on a hunger strike on 26 March. The editor-in-chief demands objective consideration of his case, the release of arrested journalists and application of concrete protection mechanisms of the Council of Europe and OSCE.
Fatullayev was detained last year charged with committing grave crimes and sentenced to 8-and-a-half year's imprisonment.
The journalists, opposition MPs and politicians have joined the hunger strike in support of Fatullayev.
According to the Ambassador, both the Government and the public must make every effort. "This discussion will contribute towards the free media," Derse said.