Politics 14:13 14/09/2017 World

U.S., UK welcome Mehman Aliyev’s release, call on Azerbaijani authorities to end all restrictions on independent media

Heather Nauert, Spokesperson of the U.S. State Department has called on the Azerbaijan authorities to drop the remaining charges against Director of the Turan News Agency in a statement on 13 September.

“The United States notes positively the September 11, release from pre-trial detention of Mehman Aliyev, the respected editor-in-chief of the Turan News Agency. We ask the government to drop the remaining charges against him and allow Turan to perform its important work unhindered. We further call on the authorities to build on this positive step by taking action to strengthen freedom of expression and other human rights in Azerbaijan. We continue to urge the government of Azerbaijan to release all those incarcerated for exercising their fundamental freedoms,” the statement reads.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the UK Government has also welcomed the decision to release the director. “The UK welcomes the decision to release the Director of the Turan news agency, Mehman Aliyev, from pre-trial detention. This is a positive step and the UK will continue to monitor developments in his case. We urge the Government of Azerbaijan to build on this momentum to end all restrictions on independent media,” reads the statement released by the office.

Stefan Schennach (Austria, SOC) and Cezar Florin Preda (Romania, EPP/CD), co-rapporteurs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) for the monitoring of Azerbaijan, have also welcomed the recent release of Mehman Aliyev.

“The release of Mehman Aliyev is a positive signal”, they said, “but he remains under house arrest, and the charges against him have not been lifted nor have the restrictive measures against Turan Information Agency. We hope these will now soon be removed,” they announced.

To remind, on 11 September 2017, Yasamal Dstrict Court in Baku City released human rights journalist Mehman Aliyev from custody and ordered him to be placed under house arrest. The human rights defender has been detained since 24 August 2017 and is facing charges of ‘illegal entrepreneurship’, ‘tax evasion’ and ‘abuse of power’.
 



Source Panorama.am
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