Media watchdog hits back at World Press Freedom report on Azerbaijan [PHOTO]
Freedom of media and speech, being one of the most important components of a democratic society, is fully ensured in accordance with the legislation of Azerbaijan and its international obligations, Azernews reports, citing Azerbaijan's Media Development Agency (MEDIA).
The remarks came in response to the World Press Freedom Index 2022 report by Reporters Without Borders ( RSF).
In the letter, the agency refers to its establishment by a presidential decree, designed to deepen reforms in the media sector, the implementation of large projects with the participation of the private sector in cooperation with the media, and the strengthening of the economic independence of media entities. Moreover, the agency noted that media development is a priority direction in the activities of the state.
Besides, the agency expressed regret that thepositive initiatives were taken into account when compiling the corresponding international ratings.
Commenting on the opinions expressed by the Head of RSF’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia Desk, Jeanne Cavelie, which included the arguments put forward to justify the new rating of Azerbaijan, the agency noted that they are inconsistent and don’t reflect the objective reality in the field of media freedom in the country.
In the letter, the agency again clarified the relevant articles of the law "On Media", emphasizing that nobody was arrested for journalistic activities in Azerbaijan.
"We believe that reference to several sources, including our sources, will increase the objectivity and exactness of the information and reports of Reporters Without Borders," the agency said.
Drawing attention to the fact that the website of the organization has previously published distorted information about journalists, who died during the implementation of their duty obligations as a result of an explosion of mines planted by Armenian armed forces in Azerbaijan’s Kalbajar region, the agency stressed that the real cause and essence of the tragedy stayed undisclosed.
The letter added that doing so created prerequisites for using this information against Azerbaijan, which led to the formation of unreasonable attitudes.
Additionally, the letter stressed that the Azerbaijani Media Development Agency is ready for dialogue with the Reporters Without Borders organization, as well as with other international organizations working in the media.
In Azerbaijan, the media bill was adopted 20 years ago. Certain changes were made, but some points remained open.
In December 2021, the Azerbaijani parliament adopted a new law “On the media”. It determines the general rules of the organization of media activities, the legal and economic bases of these activities, as well as the receipt, preparation, transmission, production, and dissemination of mass information. The document consists of nine chapters and 78 clauses.
It provides for all the details, from raising the level of professionalism of journalists to solving their social problems. This creates the necessary legal framework for better protection of information security in Azerbaijan.
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