Shortwave anyone? Azerbaijan affirms ban of foreign stations on its FM dial.

Posted: 30 Dec 2008

"Azerbaijan's National Television and Radio Council has ruled that it will ban international radio stations from broadcasting on national frequencies. The ban, which is due to come into effect on January 1, will terminate radio broadcasts by the BBC, Voice of America, and RFE/RL's Azeri-language service, Radio Azadliq. The council first announced the proposal in late October, but this ruling finalizes the decision. The council has argued that national FM and medium-wave radio frequencies are the property of the government, and as such cannot be used by international broadcasters. ... Although the banned broadcasters will still have access to satellite, cable, and Internet platforms in Azerbaijan, the ban on radio transmissions is expected to eliminate the vast majority of the stations' current audience." RFE/RL News, 30 December 2008.
     "Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) President Jeffrey Gedmin called today's decision by the government of Azerbaijan to take foreign broadcasters off the air 'a sad day for the Azeri people, who will now find themselves without access to free and independent media.'" RFE/RL press release, 30 December 2008.
     "'The decision also refers to Europa Plus [Russian commercial] radio station. We have given a chance to them to bring their activity in compliance with Azerbaijani radio stations within two years. Yet, in fact they function as a foreign radio and transmit in a foreign language most of the time. In this connection we will appeal to the court to annul license of this radio station', announced chairman of the National Council.", 30 December 2008. See previous post about same subject.

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