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OSCE Worried About Azerbaijan Press Freedom

OSCE Representative on Media Freedom Dunja Mijatovic
BRUSSELS -- The OSCE's representative on freedom of the media, Dunja Mijatovic, says the situation regarding freedom of speech and the media in Azerbaijan is "quite worrying."

Mijatovic, in an interview with RFE/RL in Brussels on September 30, highlighted the case of Hilal Mamedov, the editor of a Talysh-minority newspaper who was sentenced last week to five years in prison on charges of treason, incitement of ethnic hatred, and drugs possession.

Mijatovic said Mamedov's is "one of many cases that raise great concerns" when it comes to the government's commitment to freedom of expression.

She also mentioned the adoption of laws that could restrict free speech and limit critical voices in Azerbaijan, which will hold a presidential election on October 9.

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Mijatovic also said that, despite some positive steps, Ukraine -- which currently holds the OSCE Chairmanship -- "still has a long way to go in order to really say that the situation has improved."
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    Rikard Jozwiak

    Rikard Jozwiak is the Europe editor for RFE/RL in Prague, focusing on coverage of the European Union and NATO. He previously worked as RFE/RL’s Brussels correspondent, covering numerous international summits, European elections, and international court rulings. He has reported from most European capitals, as well as Central Asia.