Ali Hasanov: Azerbaijan doesn’t imagine its domestic life without free media

Baku: “No one can claim the situation of freedoms of expression, information, and mass media in Azerbaijan are worse than in any other country”

Azerbaijan’s free media developed in 2014 and state support to this area has come to fruition.

Ali Hasanov, Head of Political and Public Affairs Department at the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration, has stated this in his speech at the award ceremony for winners of a competition on individual journalistic articles, declared by the Fund of State Support for the Development of Mass Media under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan on the occasion of 31 December – the Solidarity Day of the World Azerbaijanis and the New Year.

Ali Hasanov said no one can claim the situation of freedoms of expression, information, and mass media in Azerbaijan are worse than in any other country.

“No one can say that any journalist in Azerbaijan doesn’t have the opportunity of freely gathering information about any event or process, presenting that information to their audience, putting it up for public discussion, and conveying to society their message regarding results of the discussion. No once can say any journalist has ever been prosecuted by the state or its structures. But unfortunately, today we have some NGOs and different international organizations trying to vilify Azerbaijan’s free media atmosphere whose foundations were laid by national leader Heydar Aliyev,” he stressed.

A. Hasanov said some international circles use freedom of speech and information for their own purposes, directing journalists to a specific direction.

“The events happening in the largest countries are brought to the world community through the transnational media after passing censorship of certain circles in those countries. In addition, this transnational media are trying to inform the world community about what is happening in various countries, for example in Muslim states through the prism of the interests of those circles. Is political and media pluralism in the world a value belonging to a number of transnational media outlets? Do Azerbaijani journalists have equal rights with those in larger countries to cover the ongoing developments all over the world?” he noted.

Hasanov noted with regret that today some international and foreign media organizations conduct biased analyze regarding the situation of media freedom in different countries and make lists reflecting no reality.

“These and other tools of pressure are used in order to influence policies of various small states. Today we can be proud that free media was formed in Azerbaijan. It is developing and will continue develop . The Azerbaijani government doesn’t imagine its domestic life without free media and it will continue to be so as long as Mr. Ilham Aliyev is in power,” he said.

He said Azerbaijan is the only country in the world where the state provides housing to journalists.

Hasanov congratulated all media representatives on the occasion of the Solidarity Day of the World Azerbaijanis (31 December) and New Year, wishing them good luck in the coming year. He also extended his best wishes to President Ilham Aliyev in connection with his birthday.

SOURCE: AZERI PRESS NEWS AGENCY