On July 2, the OSCE Office in Baku marked celebrations of Azerbaijan's National Press Day today by emphasizing the unique role that a free media plays in fostering economic, democratic and social progress, Trend reports.
"Today we celebrate good journalism and the responsible exercise of press freedom," said Robin Seaword, the Deputy Head of the OSCE Office in Baku, in an address to representatives of Azerbaijani media. "We congratulate all those whose professional and often courageous work serves as a vital watchdog to promote transparency, accountability and good governance."
While acknowledging positive changes such as a Presidential Decree erasing newspapers' debts and the adoption of a progressive law on the right to obtain information, Seaword noted that some serious and pressing issues remained to be addressed.
"On this special day, we call on the Government of Azerbaijan to renew its efforts and commitment to guarantee the safety of journalists and ensure that crimes against journalists do not go unpunished," he added.