Hikmat Hajiyev: All conditions have been created in Azerbaijan for local and foreign media, which will cover the first European Games, to freely carry out their activity
Baku, April 13, AZERTAC
Spokesman for the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Hikmat Hajiyev has been interviewed by AZERTAC, highlighting the approval of the rules for accreditation of foreign media representatives, and the inclusion of these rules in the State register. The following is the text of the interview.
- Rules for accreditation of foreign media representatives in the Republic of Azerbaijan have already been approved and included in the State register. What can you say about this issue?
- In essence, these rules adjust the accreditation of foreign media representatives who want to carry out short-term or long-term activity in the Republic of Azerbaijan. The rules were set our based on the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan, laws “On the Mass Media” and “On Freedom of Information”, and relevant international documents that the Republic of Azerbaijan is party to. Being advanced in nature, the laws of the Republic of Azerbaijan on “Freedom of Information” and “On the Mass Media” ensure freedom of information and freedom of activity of the mass media.
The rules were set out taking into consideration the experience of the European Union member states, particularly Eastern European countries. We can note that unlike some other states, the number of the documents that foreign media representatives who want to receive accreditation in Azerbaijan are required to submit has been reduced, and the process is now quite simplified. At the initial stage, those who need accreditation are required to submit a certificate of employment, a photograph, a filled-in application form and an ID card. For instance, in many countries, including some Western countries, media accreditation requirements include a state guarantee letter, a bank account statement and numerous other documents. Independent media representatives in Azerbaijan face such problems when applying for accreditation in foreign countries.
One of the most advanced features of these rules is that the Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan on some measures related to the arrangement of electronic services of government bodies features the online filling of application forms by foreign media representatives.
At the same time, the accreditation rules provide that accreditation can be cancelled if foreign media representatives carry out any activity against territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty of Azerbaijan, or visit the occupied lands of our country. This is also widespread practice in the world. Azerbaijan is a state that has been subjected to occupation and aggression of Armenia in breach of international law, and international media representatives should approach this sensitivity with understanding.
Unfortunately, some circles are carrying out – at every opportunity – a smear campaign against Azerbaijan related to the first European Games. From this point of view the rules of accreditation of foreign media representatives are being deliberately distorted.
How many foreign media representatives were accredited in Azerbaijan in 2014?
-In 2014, about 160 foreign media representatives were accredited in Azerbaijan. These foreign media representatives carried out their professional journalistic activities in Azerbaijan in an atmosphere of freedom of the press as stipulated by law.
The geography of foreign media representatives covers the USA, Germany, UK, Qatar, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Russia, Norway, Iran, Italy, Finland, Malaysia and other countries.
Representatives of the Associated Press, Reuters, Agence France Press, BBC, Bloomberg, TRT, Anadolu, Russia, Xinhua, IRNA, Ria Novosti and other foreign media are carrying out their activities in Azerbaijan on a long-term basis.
This figure and the activity of foreign media representatives, which covers a wide geography, bears another testimony to the fact that there are all conditions in Azerbaijan for local and foreign media to freely carry out their activity under the country`s laws.
- How is accreditation of foreign media representatives for the first European Games being carried out?
- The first European Games is one of the important and mass events that Azerbaijan will host. That is why the process of accreditation for the Games is exceptional in nature. The organization of accreditation for the European Games is stipulated by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan on some measures regarding the organization of the first European Games dated August 8, 2014.
In order to ensure the accreditation of foreign media representatives for the first European Games, Azerbaijan is applying the best experience used during such mass international events. It gives us great pleasure to note that experienced international and local professionals are working together at the Operation Committee of the first European Games. The accreditation of representatives of foreign media is being carried out by the Operation Committee of the first European Games. Government bodies are providing necessary support to the Operation Committee of the Games.
In compliance with the spirit and objectives of the Olympic Charter, the fulfillment of the media-related rules of the International Olympic Committee and the European Olympic Committees has been and will further be ensured.
Nearly 700 international and more than 600 local media representatives have applied to get accreditation to cover the first European Games. In addition, the European Games will be covered by nearly 200 international broadcasting companies. A Media Village meeting all technical parameters was established to ensure that media representatives effectively carry out their activities.
The rules for the accredited media representatives entering Azerbaijan`s territory have been simplified, and international media representatives can enter Azerbaijan`s territory with their accreditation card issued by the Operation Committee of the first European Games and an ID card.
In general, freedom of the press and thought has been fully provided in Azerbaijan, and there is a completely free atmosphere for local and foreign media representatives to implement their professional activity on the basis of respect for the laws of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
We are waiting with pleasure for international media representatives to come to Azerbaijan to cover the first European Games.