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Council Of Europe Slams Azerbaijan Over Foreign-Broadcast Ban

The Council of Europe today criticized as "highly regrettable" the decision by Azerbaijan to ban international radio stations from broadcasting on national frequencies.

The ban, which came into effect, ended radio broadcasts by the BBC, Voice of America, and RFE/RL's Azeri-language service, Radio Azadliq.

"When it acceded to the Council of Europe in 2001, Azerbaijan undertook to guarantee the freedom of expression and independence of the media, which are essential preconditions for the functioning of a democratic society," reads a statement signed by Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos and Lluis Maria De Puig, the president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

The statement urges Baku to reconsider its decision, which it says "cannot but create obstacles to pluralism of information in this country to the detriment of the interests of the Azerbaijani population."

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.


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