Arxiv

Arxiv

Baku / 25.07.18 / Turan: At the meeting on July 24 members of the Media Club discussed the current problems of the country's media. The reason for the extraordinary meeting was the appeals from two blocked Internet resources, in relation to which criminal cases were brought in connection with the recent events in Ganja and Mingechevir.

So, the editor of the site "bastainfo.com" Mustafa Hajibeyli and the editor of the site gününsesi.info Parviz Hashimli appealed to the Media Club and told about the problems they had to face. They are both involved as witnesses in a criminal case initiated under Article 313 of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan (official forgery).

Members of the Media Club, receiving first-hand information about the reasons for the blocking of these resources, expressed concern about the events and serious threats to media freedom. At the same time, the view was expressed that it was necessary to stop attacks on news resources.

Since the adoption in 2016 of legislative amendments on the blocking of sites, this sanction has been applied to about 60 Internet resources and access to them has been blocked.

The events of early July aroused serious concern in society. The talk is about the accident in Mingechevir, as well as the events in Ganja. The media coverage of official and unofficial information on these events is a natural media and journalistic function.

The main function of the media is to inform and educate the public. The majority of media, including those that are blocked, and in relation to which criminal cases have been initiated, have mostly complied with the legislation, disseminated official information, publishing also opinions and arguments of individuals.

Such behavior in a democratic society is a classic function of journalism in the framework of the principle of necessity. Article 50 of the Constitution guarantees freedom of the press.

Article 71 considers illegal interference in the work of the media inadmissible.

Article 10 of the European Convention ratified by Azerbaijan guarantees freedom of media within the framework of freedom of expression.

In this case, the systematic challenges of the editors-in-chief to the prosecutor's offices and warnings, statements without a court decision that the materials are violation is nothing more than a direct threat to media freedom and a flagrant violation of constitutional law.

The Article 62 of the law on the media openly indicates that the media and journalists are not responsible for the information disseminated and not disproved by official structures, persons noted the participants in the discussion.

Despite this, the leaders of blocked websites are brought to the investigation for the dissemination of information, analyzes of agencies and other structures. Without a court decision, they selected computers, telephones, and other means. This is a violation of the principle of not disclosing the source of information.

The Media Club, expressing grave concern that prosecutors recently played the role of censorship, calls for the cessation of threats and attacks on media freedom. -0-

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