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Broadcasters: Azerbaijan to look at media rights

May 2, 2012
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GENEVA—A top Azerbaijan official has told European broadcasters that his government will probe alleged abuses of journalists, an announcement that comes as the country prepares to host the Eurovision song contest.

Ali Hasanov heads the Azerbaijan president's political department.

He spoke to the European Broadcast Union during a daylong closed meeting Wednesday in Geneva, saying that the government would fully investigate alleged cases of jailed and mistreated journalists.

A statement from EBU after the meeting said Hasanov also agreed for the government to look at lowering defamation from a criminal to a civil offense.

Azerbaijan is to host the glitzy Eurovision competition on May 22, 24 and 26. At a press conference, Hasanov told reporters the government takes the media issues "very seriously."

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