US State Department is concerned about the adoption of the law "On Media" in Azerbaijan
US State Department concerned about adoption of media law in Azerbaijan
According to an official representative of the US State Department, the Azerbaijani parliament hastened to adopt the law “On Media”. Official Washington expressed hope that the presidential administration, when considering the bill, will carefully consider the proposals of independent journalists, media experts and international groups, including the OSCE.
- Azerbaijan adopts law “On media” – independent journalists explain what it means for press freedom
- Bread price increases by 30% in Azerbaijan
An official representative of the United States Department of State, on the basis of a request from Azerbaijani journalists, commented on the adoption of the Law on Media by the Milli Mejlis in the third and final reading.
Washington “expressed concern about the adoption of a new media bill, which critics believe is aimed at limiting the activities of independent journalists”, Turan writes .
“We are concerned that the Azerbaijani parliament has rushed to send the proposed media law to the presidential administration for ratification”, a State Department official said in response to an inquiry.
“We hope that the presidential administration, when considering the draft law, will carefully consider the proposals of independent journalists, media experts and international groups, including the OSCE”, the State Department spokesman added. “We will continue to monitor this issue closely”.
The adoption of the law “On Media” in parliament sparked protests from independent journalists working in Azerbaijan. They held protests twice in front of the Milli Mejlis building.
According to many experts, the law, adopted in the final reading on December 30, 2021, serves to transfer domestic journalism under the control of the state. The document states that all media structures and journalists operating in the country must be registered in the unified Media Register, and all journalists must have certificates issued centrally by the state MEDIA agency.
The law has not yet been signed by the president of the country. According to local journalists and human rights organizations, this document may restrict freedom of speech in Azerbaijan.