Dear Ms. Bokova,
The new European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) is concerned about the detention* of journalist Khadija Ismayilova and how journalists are generally treated in Azerbaijan.
The fact that Mrs Mehriban Aliyeva, the wife of the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, works as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNESCO, we perceive as frightening and as utterly unacceptable. That an UN organisation dealing with media freedom has nominated a Goodwill Ambassador from the top elite of Azerbaijan, a country where journalists are imprisoned and murdered and where freedom of the press is ignored in the strongest manner, is totally unacceptable. And the UNESCO adds another insult on its website: There is stated that Mrs Aliyeva is committed to the UNESCO ideals.
Dear Ms Bokova, please look at the rankings of Reporters without Borders and Freedom House. We urge UNESCO also to acknowledge the European Charter on Freedom of the Press, our pan-European document, on European media freedom standards. – Azerbaijan ignores these standards extensively.
We hope that the UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Mrs Aliyeva will be dismissed and we expect from the Director-General to initiate the dismissal without delay.
Should you need detailed information on the state of press freedom in Azerbaijan and in the case of Ms Ismayilova - this case must be of UNESCO interest - you can contact us: www.ecpmf.eu.
Henrik Kaufholz (Chairman)
Hans-Ulrich Jörges (Vice Chairman)
Dr. Lutz Mükke (Managing Director)