Azerbaijan Press Council issues statement on restriction of journalistic activities of AZERTAC employee

The Azerbaijan Press Council has issued a statement regarding the restriction of journalistic activities of an AZERTAC employee.

News.az presents the statement: “The improper and cruel treatment of Aygun Hasanova, an employee of the Azerbaijan State Information Agency (AZERTAC) who was seconded to the French colony of New Caledonia, by the local police and their illegal actions against her, the imposition of unreasonable demands despite the presence of the Schengen visa are an obvious example of France's intolerance to the freedom of speech and expression. The incident is further evidence that France, which considers itself the cradle of world democracy, completely flouts the highest values and principles.

The actions of the New Caledonian police are unacceptable and completely inadmissible. The detention of an AZERTAC employee, the threats of her arrest, the fact that she was boarded on a plane as an “undesirable person” and sent to another country are an illegal way of preventing free journalistic activity. Such an approach is typical only of countries with a dictatorial regime. There are sufficient grounds to believe that the administration of President Emmanuel Macron is building a hotbed of authoritarianism in New Caledonia, so to speak. This is an extremely embarrassing situation for France.

The employee of AZERTAC, who visited New Caledonia to highlight the struggle of the people of New Caledonia for freedom and against oppression, wanted to fulfill her professional duty. The Azerbaijan Press Council believes that the explicitly illegal action against her should give the world's media community some food for thought. This unpleasant incident and the restriction of journalistic activities by using brute force raise the issue of the safety of foreign media representatives covering the demonstrations and rallies not only in New Caledonia but also in other French colonies, as well as in France itself.

The Press Council strongly condemns the actions and behavior of the New Caledonian police against AZERTAC employee Aygun Hasanova, views them as being typical of dictatorial regimes, and calls on international institutions, including international media institutions organizations, not to turn a blind eye to the incident. The Council believes that the lack of proper legal assessment of the inhuman act faced by the Azerbaijani journalist creates an environment of impunity. The existence of such an environment creates a precedent for the recurrence of similar events. Therefore, it is imperative that the French dictatorship led by Macron should be forced to abandon this cruelty in relation to the media and journalists. This can be achieved only through mobilization and protest of the progressive public.

The Azerbaijan Press Council strongly condemns the mistreatment of AZERTAC employee Aygun Hasanova and the restriction of her journalistic activities, demands that perpetrators of the incident be found and brought to justice as soon as possible and an appropriate legal assessment given to the incident.”

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