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OSCE Urges Azerbaijan To Loosen Grip On Media

22 July 2005 -- The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe is urging the Azerbaijani government to loosen its control over the media ahead of parliamentary elections.

Miklos Haraszti, the OSCE's representative on media freedom issues, told journalists in Baku the government is stalling on legislation needed to liberalize the media ahead of the 6 November polls.

In the lead-up to the vote, Azerbaijan has seen the killing in March of one of its most prominent opposition journalists, Elmar Huseynov, as well as a number of libel suits filed against independent journalists by government officials.

Haraszti said he regretted there are still very few impartial news outlets in Azerbaijan.