Baku, November 17, AZERTAC
"When we talk about international community we hear a lot that international community is concerned. Then we need to identify who international community is. International community are members of United Nations – 200 countries. As I said in my remarks two thirds of these countries supported Azerbaijan as a non-permanent member of UN Security Council. As I said yesterday freedom of press is wholly provided in Azerbaijan," said President Ilham Aliyev as he responded to Vice-President of Associated Press John Daniszewski's question at a meeting with a group of participants of the 5th News Agencies World Congress.
"It is enough to look at the substance of this issue. When you have free internet, no censorship and 75 per cent of the population as internet users how can you restrict the press?! If you have two million people on social media, Facebook and Twitter, how can you restrict the press?! We do not have this political goal in front of us. Our goal is to continue to create a modern, developing, democratic society with all the freedoms."
"Some cases related to journalists should not be taken out of the context. It happens in many countries that journalists commit crimes and then they are prosecuted. We need to be objective here and look at the issues from the point of view of objectivity. If I may ask you a question? Azerbaijan is often criticized for this kind of things, but do you have answer why Julian Assange is still in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London? He is facing extradition and then probably death penalty for some relations with some lady many years ago. And he is there for more than two years, and he is afraid of going out. Do you have any explanation? Is it democratic to treat a journalist like that? Or what kind of treatment is that?"
"There are cases like that and they should be taken into account in the context. Specific countries should not be selected for attacks. No one is perfect and we need to treat all these issues in the context of reality," President Ilham Aliyev said.