Friday, August 05, 2005
Opposition press censored in Azerbaijan
For now, though, opposition and privately owned media report that they sense themselves under constant scrutiny for their election coverage. Baloglan Mirzoyev, head of the private television station Lankaran TV, based in the city of Lankaran, the largest in Azerbaijan’s south, told EurasiaNet that he has faced pressure from the local department of the Ministry of National Security for airing news about opposition activities in the region. “They threatened me with tough measures if I continue to cover the opposition,” Mirzoyev said.
Ali Rza, deputy editor-in-chief of the opposition Azadlig newspaper, reported that on the eve of the visit to Ganja by PACE co-rapporteurs Andreas Gross and Andreas Herkel in early July, the city’s Azadlig correspondent “was called into the police station and warned to say ‘the right things,’” Rza said. “We feel more and more pressure as election day gets closer.” The Azadlig magazine has since been banned from sale in Baku, and one vendor detained by police, magazine editor Rovsan Haciev told the Russian news agency Regnum on 2 August.
The rest of the article, which covers the election campaign in general, is worth reading as well.