In an interview with BBC, the president of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has mentioned the double standards of western media while encountering a question from its reporter about media and political freedom in Azerbaijan.
“Why do you think that people in Azerbaijan do not have free media and opposition,” remarked the president when the BBC reporter made a claim about the suppression of press and political opponents in the country without disclosing the sources which was most probably because of the threats posed to these sources by Azerbaijani authorities. But the president turned down her creditability quickly and cleverly started discussing Julian Assange the founder of Wikileaks who has been imprisoned in London.
“How do you assess what happened to Assange? Is it a reflection of free media in your country? You kept that person hostage for his journalism activity. You did it, not us. Now he is in prison. You have no moral right to talk about free media when you do such things,’’ Aliyev added further. The war of words forced the reporter to change the subject of the discussion immediately.
Azerbaijan caught the attention of international media after its border dispute with the rival country Armenia reached new heights this year.