Baku, September 6, AZERTAC
The Azerbaijani President`s Assistant for Public and Political Affairs Ali Hasanov has commented on The Washington Post`s allegations.
In a statement given to AZERTAC, Ali Hasanov said:
- On 20 July 2017, a new apartment building for employees of media outlets was inaugurated in a ceremony attended by President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mr Ilham Aliyev, and another 255 media representatives received apartments.
All journalists and media community in Azerbaijan highly appreciated and welcomed this noble and valuable initiative of the Azerbaijani President and described it as a clear manifestation of his attention to addressing social problems of media representatives.
Unfortunately, this important initiative has by tradition provoked biased interpretations from some local political groups and the media controlled by them, and a number of foreign media outlets, which made absurd allegations of "restrictions on the freedom of speech and expression in the country", "efforts to buy off journalists", etc.
The Washington Post, which has always been biased against Azerbaijan, published a sponsored article headlined "In Azerbaijan, some journalists get free apartments. Others get jail cells". By doing so, The Washington Post once again proved to be an example of prejudice. Linking the government`s measures to solve housing problems of journalists to cases of the persons who were arrested for concrete crimes is nothing but prejudice and nonsense. Lie, distortion of facts and bias are characteristics of this article and of The Washington Post`s information policy in general.
It`s not a coincidence that US President Donald Trump has repeatedly accused The Washington Post of publishing false information, distorting facts, serving interests of certain political groups and specializing in fake news. In one tweet, Mr Trump said The Washington Post "fabricated the facts on my ending massive, dangerous, and wasteful payments to Syrian rebels fighting Assad..." The US President believes that the fake Washington Post fabricated a number of stories about him and has in fact become a weapon in the hands of certain circles.
It is apparent that The Washington Post is being used as a tool for pressure on heads of state, public and political figures, businesses and even countries. And there is no way The Washington Post can be considered as an example of a free media. This is why The Washington Post`s and its patrons` "struggle for democracy" and calls for "media freedom" are nothing but pulling the wool over everyone's eyes.
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