EU Ambassador to Azerbaijan meets local journalists to highlight critical role of independent media
May 13, 2024

EU Ambassador to Azerbaijan meets local journalists to highlight critical role of independent media

To mark World Press Freedom Day, EU Ambassador Peter Michalko held his traditional meeting with Azerbaijani journalists on 11 May. 

“World Press Freedom Day serves as an occasion to raise awareness of the importance of media freedom and pluralism, to defend media outlets against threats to their independence and security, and to pay tribute to journalists in the entire world who have been killed or are suffering because of exercising their profession,” EU Ambassador Peter Michalko said. “It is also a valuable opportunity for EU Delegations to highlight the critical role of independent media for democracy and uphold people’s right to access quality, fact-based information.”

On 25 April, the European Parliament overwhelmingly adopted a resolution urging Azerbaijan to release Dr Gubad Ibadoghlu, Ilhamiz Guliyev and all other political prisoners.

In a speech to the Parliament, EU High Representative Josep Borrell said the EU had repeatedly raised its concerns on the intensification of persecution against civil society and independent media in Azerbaijan, which the EU sees “as an attempt to intimidate and silence dissenting voices, and suppress freedom of expression”.

According to the EU, since November 2023, there had been several waves of arrests of independent journalists and political activists affiliated with a number of media outlets and non-governmental organisations. At least 16 people have been detained, among them Ilhamiz Guliyev.

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