The OSCE Office in Baku and the Organization's Representative on Freedom of the Media have welcomed yesterday's decision to allow Azerbaijan's private TV and radio broadcaster ANS to resume transmission, Trend reports with reference to the statement of the OSCE.
The National TV and Radio Council (NTRC), said that, as an exception, ANS can resume broadcasting so that "the channel frequencies do not stay empty until the recently announced tender closes". The Council also explained that the decision was a result of "the good will of President Ilham Aliyev and numerous appeals made by the public and rights activists."
"We commend this decision, which signals political flexibility by the National Council in view of the public's desire to see the channel on air," said Robin Seaword, Acting Head of the OSCE Office.
"We understand that no conditions accompany the decision to allow the resumption of ANS work and hope to see an unchanged editorial line of the channel as confirmation of that," he added.
Commenting on a tender announced for the frequencies currently used by ANS, Miklos Haraszti, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, said: "The people of Azerbaijan are entitled to choose out of variety of information sources to know about what is happening in the country, region, and the world. We hope that next February, when the NTRC will be considering applications for frequencies, it will do it in a transparent and fair manner in order to take into account pluralism and reflect the choices of the public of Azerbaijan," he said.