Media Rights Institute condemns pressure on journalists for publications

Media Rights Institute (MRI) expresses deep concern due to summoning  the correspondent of  "Azadlig" newspaper,  Natig Adilov, to the city police, and  warning him  by the Baku Prosecutor for critical publications in the media and social networks.

The MRI considers unacceptable illegal demands of explanations from his publications. The MRI sees this as an unreasonable step with the aim to oppress freedom of expression.

Adilov is known by harsh criticism of the authorities in the newspaper "Azadlig" , he is also an employee of the press service of the PFPA, and consistently criticizes government policy on social networks. In recent days, he exhibited in social networks statuses condemning the government's decision to increase fuel prices.

On December 4, Adilov was summoned to the police where the head of Baku is Rafiq Abbasov began to interrogate him about the critical publications. Further, on behalf of the capital prosecutor he was handed a warning. It says that the publication of Adilov has critical character, and it should be stopped. Otherwise journalist will  bear responsibility. 

The MRI considers it a violation of freedom of expression and a violation of Articles 47 and 50 of the Constitution.

"Everyone has the freedom of expression, the right to receive, prepare and disseminate the information. No one can force people to renounce their beliefs. The government should provide guarantees of free activities and media journalists," reads the statement.

According to the law on mass media,  it is unacceptable  to use media  for: the  spread  of secrets protected by law , the violent overthrow of the existing system, compromising the integrity of the state, war propaganda, violence and cruelty, ethnic , racial, social hostility or intolerance, the publication of rumors , lies and biased publications humiliating honor and dignity of citizens, pornographic material, and  slander. Beyond that is allowed to discuss any topics. 

Freedom of expression is guaranteed by the  Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The government can not interfere with the rights and methods of journalists and media awareness. This is not the first time  of summoning journalists  to the law enforcement agencies  due to publications. In 2007  the National Security Ministry  summoned Elchin Shikhli, the chief editor of the "The Mirror", and some of  his employees.

In 2010, more than 10 journalists were  summoned called to the Ministry of National Security in connection with the publication investigating the murder of  the journalist Elmar Huseynov.

In February 2013 the first deputy chief editor of the newspaper "Azadlig", Rahim Hajiyev, was summoned to the Prosecutor General's Office to stop the publication about protests in the regions. –06D--


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