In a statement, Miklos Haraszti, the OSCE's representative on media freedom, expressed concern about the forcible eviction by the Ministry For Emergency Situations of the staff of the country's two main independent newspapers, "Realny Azerbaijan" and "Gundelik Azerbaycan," from their offices.
The statement said the newspapers had not been printed since the May 20 evacuations for alleged building-safety problems, and it is unclear when their publication will resume.
In Baku today, a senior aide to the Azerbaijani president today denied that the government is cracking down on media freedoms.
Ali Hasanov said the recent jailings of journalists and the closure of the newspapers' offices have been justified.
Hasanov called international criticism about attacks on the media "subjective." He said there is freedom of speech and an independent press in Azerbaijan, but he said freedom of speech does not mean journalists can break the law.
Meanwhile, prosecutors in Azerbaijan have filed new terrorism-related charges against the editor and founder of "Realny Azerbaijan" who was jailed last month.
Arif Babayev, a spokesman for the Ministry of National Security, said May 22 that Eynulla Fatullayev was charged with making a terrorist threat. He gave no further details of the charges.
In April, a Baku court found Fatullayev guilty of disseminating false information about a 1992 attack during the country's six-year war with Armenia over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.