The threat of the media site blocking remains

Baku / 15.08.18 / Turan: Committee for Solidarity held today an online conference on important issues of public life in Azerbaijan.The agenda of the online conference included issues of blocking media sites recently, the problem of political prisoners in the light of the release of the leader of the REAL movement IlgarMammadov, the case of the youth activist OrkhanBakhyshly, and the pressure on the lawyer Aslan Ismayilov.

The event began with a speech by Aslan Ismayilov, who was in a hurry to attend the next hearing in the Court of Appeal. Ismayilovsaid thattrials on three lawsuits have been held against him at different times, and they have been fabricated for the purpose of his arrest. He accused on the air the Minister of Justice,FikretMamedov; the head of the national anchorage, Jamil Aliyev; the presidential assistant, Ali Hasanov; and the Prosecutor General's Office in attempts to deprive him of his freedom for critical accession to them.

MehmanAliyev,and the heads of other media spoke on the blocking the websites recently.

Aliyev noted that the decisions of the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies on blocking websites were preceded by a lengthy work of the authorities. Over the past two years, legislative changes have been introduced that allow the government to suspend media operations and block free information space.

In the last 10 days, an attempt was made to block 5 media sites, but it was not done because of the counter actions of the media community, international structures, as well as some individuals in the higher echelons of power. However, media executives believe that an attack on the media can resume, and therefore think it is necessary to take steps to prevent blockages.

The participants of the online conference condemned the authorities for not being given the opportunity for the public to participate in the preparatory hearing on the case of youth activist OrhanBahyshly, who is accused of manufacturing, transporting and using drugs. Many people, recognized as political prisoners, were convicted of such accusations. It was decided to pay increased attention to the trial of Bahyshly.

The Committee intends to hear at the next meeting the issue of transparency in Azerishig LLC in connection with consumer complaints about unreasonable electricity bills, as well as other issues. -0--

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