Attempts by the Azerbaijani authorities to block free access to information will not bring the desired effect


This was the reaction of political commentator Vafa Gupuzade to the news that the National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council had passed a decision to stop radio broadcasting to Azerbaijan by foreign radio channels. He told “Novosti – Azerbaijan” that “in the modern world attempts to block people’s access to free information cannot bring the effect the authorities desire since people will find access to other information which can prove more undesirable for those who passed such a decision”.

He said that the radio station “Azadlyg”, one of the three foreign radio stations broadcasting to Azerbaijan was popular among the population and was not seen as a foreign station. “People received objective information thanks to the journalists of that station, considering it to be Azerbaijani. Now, after 1 January we will listen to foreign radio stations on shortwave, through the Internet or cable. Every illness will find its cure”, he added, quoting an Azerbaijani proverb. He believes that the Soviet Union collapsed in part because they closed off access to information.

The decision to stop broadcasting from 1 January 2009 on national FM channels will affect the BBC, Voice of America and “Radio Svoboda / Azadlyg”

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