Friday Wrap-up: World Press Freedom Index, tripartite meeting results, and the closing of an online TV channel office

Police violence against journalist. Illustration: Meydan TV

The week of May 1 – 5 saw the ranking of freedom of the press in Azerbaijan, the end of the US meeting of foreign ministers, and the RLC online TV channel removed from its office.

Azerbaijan again fell behind its neighbors in the World Press Freedom Index

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has released its 21st World Press Freedom Index, which evaluates the state of journalism in 180 countries. The report highlights the significant changes brought about by political, social, and technological upheavals worldwide. The press situation in seven out of ten countries is considered “bad,” while it is “satisfactory” in only three.

The report ranks Azerbaijan 151st among 180 countries, positioning the nation between Pakistan and Afghanistan. While Armenia ranks 49th, Georgia ranks 77th, and Russia ranks 164th. Azerbaijani officials dispute these reports.

The report classified the situation in Azerbaijan as “very serious.” Additionally, the report classified the situation in 42 countries as “difficult” and in 55 countries as “problematic.” The World Press Freedom Index is one of the most extensive assessments of press freedom worldwide, highlighting the impact of global political, social, and technological changes on journalism.

Tripartite meeting in the USA: Blinken says that the parties came close to a peace agreement

The four-day meeting between the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia in the United States has concluded, with both countries stating that they have made progress toward a lasting peace agreement.

Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov and Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan held talks in Arlington, Virginia, and met with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken noted that Azerbaijan and Armenia had made significant progress towards a lasting peace agreement, with both sides reaching a mutual agreement on some articles of the draft bilateral agreement on the establishment of peace and interstate relations. The official bodies of both countries plan to hold their next meeting in Moscow.

Azerbaijani independent media channel RLC forced to temporarily stop its activities

The RLC (Red Line Channel) online TV in Azerbaijan has temporarily stopped its activities after being removed from the office where it was located.

Samira Gasimli, the chief editor of the channel, told Meydan TV that the RLC was touching the red lines of the current administration in Azerbaijan by close analyzing the activities of President Aliyev. She believes this made them a target for the authorities.

The head of the office where they were located asked them to vacate the premises from May 1, forcing them to stop their activities. The RLC had been removed from a studio earlier, and after settling in a new one-room office, they were removed from there as well. It is unclear why the channel was removed from its office and why the owner of the building is reluctant to speak.

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