Azadlig Newspaper Journalist Requests Air Time from TV Channels

Society Materials 10 April 2008 15:42 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, 10 April / Trend corr K. Zarbaliyeva/ The journalist of the Azadlig newspaper has requested air time from the TV channels to disprove the information regarding the reason for the assault on him last month. Agil Khalil made this demand to the Narimanov Court in Baku on 10 April, Khalil's attorney Elchin Sadigli said to Trend .

On 7 April, the AzTV, Lider, Space and ATV channels broadcast information connected with the stabbing of Khalil. The information reported that the assault on Khalil was sexually-related. According to the attorney, the 20-minute report abused the honour and dignity of the journalist.

The Director of the АТV News Department Natig Ibrahimov said to Trend on 9 April that the story was broadcast on television after investigating Khalil's activities.

The head of the news service 'Her Gun' of Space TV channel, Elman Gadikli, reported to Trend that the material about Khalil was official information provided by the Prosecutor General's Office of Azerbaijan.

Lider TV channel refused to comment on this issue.

The OSCE Representative on Freedom of Media Miklos Haraszti criticized several TV channels for broadcasting the information regarding the assault on Khalil. He said that the press representatives did not only abstain from spreading false information, but they also did not obtain Khalil's side of the story, which contradicts journalistic ethics.

"Instead of publicizing the story, they should have checked their facts beforehand," Haraszti said.

The attorney Elchin Sadigov stated that this was a violation of his right to freedom and immunity, illegal action during the trial, and demanded that the employee of the Investigation Department should pay for moral damage.