Europe's largest association of national broadcasters says a top Azerbaijani official has pledged that his government will probe accusations of abuses against journalists.
Ali Hasanov, who heads President Ilham Aliyev's political department, told the European Broadcast Union (EBU) during a daylong closed meeting on May 2 in Geneva, that the authorities would fully investigate "alleged cases of jailed and mistreated journalists."
A statement from EBU after the meeting said Hasanov also agreed for the government to change legislation "to reduce defamation to a civil, and not a criminal, offense."
Hasanov was speaking as the country prepares to host the Eurovision Song Contest
Azerbaijan is to host the glitzy televised competition on May 22, 24, and 26.
With reporting by AFP