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Azeri journalists celebrate World Press Freedom Day

Today, 2 May 2013, journalist organizations represented by the Press Council of Azerbaijan - the Journalists' Trade Union of Azerbaijan (JuHI) included - held an extensive meeting to mark World Press Freedom Day. The meeting gathered representatives of popular print, electronic and Internet media in Azerbaijan, heads of journalist organizations, as well as the head of the OSCE Baku office and government representatives.

During the meeting, actual problems in Azerbaijan like the freedom of expression environment, journalists' safety, improving media legislation, adopting defamation law, social conditions of journalists, and media advertising problems were discussed.

Speeches were given by the head of the Press Council, Aflatun Amashov, the head of the National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council, Nushiravan Meherremli, the executive director of the State Support Fund for Development of the Media under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Vugar Safarli, the head of media sector at the Presidential Administration Vugar Aliyev, and the head of the OSCE Baku office Koray Torgay. The speakers shared their ideas regarding the essence of World Press Freedom Day and the current situation in the Azerbaijani media environment.

The head of the Social and Political Department of the Presidential Administration Ali Hasanov spoke about the work done regarding media legislation and adopting the defamation law. He gave answers to a wide variety of questions from the meeting participants.

At the end of the meeting, a declaration including articles for a solution to freedom of expression problems, adopting defamation law, and providing safety for journalist was signed.

For your information, the Press Council of Azerbaijan was established as the self-regulatory body for the media in Azerbaijan in 2003. By 2012, around 200 newspapers, journalist and information agencies became founders and members of the Council. In 2013, it was decided to accept Internet media bodies as Council members. In a short period of time, around 10 Internet media bodies became members.

The Press Council of Azerbaijan is managed by the Board of 15 people elected by the General Meeting. JuHI chairman Mushfig Alasgarli is a board member and Deputy-Chairman of the Press Council.

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