WASHINGTON–The Committee to Protect Journalists called on Azerbaijan and Armenia to uphold the right of free press and provide journalists with a safe haven in which to conduct their work–Thursday.
Former journalist and current CPJ researcher–Nicola Daniloff equated to censorship the government induced scrutiny in Azerbaijan and Armenia.
In a three-month long study–Dean of the Department of Journalism at Northeastern University–Daniloff–interviewed editors–reporters–media representatives and members of human and civil rights groups. Daniloff discovered hundreds of claims of disappearing reports and photographs in Azerbaijan–and detailed reports of government Armenian authorities verbally–and–sometimes–physically–exerting pressure on reporters.
The CPJ report "Paradoxes in the Caucasus" addressing the aforementioned freedom of press in Armenia and Azerbaijan was released on Thursday.
CPJ President William A. Orman announced that the report resulted in numerous cases of acts of violence against reporters–as well as newly-imposed restrictions on military and political reporting–in both countries.
Orman’said that in order for the two countries to sustain Western democracy–they need to end censorship and provide security measures for independent media.
In its call to Armenia and Azerbaijan–CPJ also urged the United States to stress–during its meetings with officials of both countries–the necessity of the freedom of press.