Report labels Azerbaijani President as “predator” of freedom of information

On World Press Freedom Day, Reporters Without Borders has released an updated list of 39 Predators of Freedom of Information ­– presidents, politicians, religious leaders, militias and criminal organizations that censor, imprison, kidnap, torture and kill journalists and other news providers. Powerful, dangerous and violent, these predators consider themselves above the law.

“These predators of freedom of information are responsible for the worst abuses against the news media and journalists,” Reporters  Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire said. “They are becoming more and more effective. In 2012, the level of violence against news providers was unprecedented and a record number of journalists were killed.

“World Press Freedom Day, which was established on the initiative of Reporters Without Borders, must be used to pay tribute to all journalists, professional and amateur, who have paid for their commitment with their lives, their physical integrity or their freedom, and to denounce the impunity enjoyed by these predators,” he said.

The report named Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev among 39 “global predators” on freedom of information. Aliyev is not the only Azerbaijani official on the list. Vasif Talibov, speaker of parliament in the autonomous Nakhichevan region, which is cut off from the rest of the country by Armenian territory, was also termed a “predator.”


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