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Reporters without borders: Azerbaijan is not ‘‘Land of fires’’ but is ‘‘country of repressions’’

According to the official propaganda Azerbaijan is considered to be a "Land of fire”, but in reality it is a "land of repression,” reads the statement of the international organization Reporters Without Borders.

The organization notes that Azerbaijan sponsors the football club "Atlético Madrid” in order to fool millions of viewers who watch the UEFA Champions League Final. "This Caucasian republic is ranked 160th out of 180 countries in the press freedom index,” the RWB notes.

According to the article no fewer than 10 journalists and as many bloggers are in prison for displaying too much independence for the government’s taste.

As an example the organization brings the journalist and human rights defender Parviz Hashimli who was sentenced to eight years in prison on 15 May on trumped-up charges of "receiving” and "illegal sale of arms.”Besides that the government’s reach extends beyond its borders. In this way it got Turkey to extradite Rauf Mirkadyrov, the independent newspaper Zerkalo’s correspondent, on 18 April. He was immediately jailed on a spying charge.

"A biased regulatory authority and manipulation of the advertising market have given the government complete control of broadcasting. There is no independent TV station and a handful of independent newspapers struggle to survive. Azadlig is one of them,” RWB writes.

The organization believes it is paradoxical that Azerbaijan has become the guarantor of human rights in the European continent on 14 May, when it assumed the rotating presidency of the Council of Europe’s committee of ministers.

"Reporters Without Borders is outraged by this and calls on the Council of Europe’s 46 other members to remind Azerbaijan’s president of his duties as regards respect for freedom of information,” the statement reads.



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