Estonian MP elected friend of Azerbaijani journalists

25. juuli 2008 BAKU, BNS - Azerbaijani journalists have elected member of the Estonian parliament Andres Herkel as one of their friends, the local Trend News agency reported.

In the voting by 60 journalists US Ambassador Anne Derse collected the most votes, with Herkel from the Estonian Pro Patria and Res Publica Union second and the international Reporters without Borders third.

The prize is issued by the Azerbiajani Center for the protection of political and civic rights.

As co-reporter of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Herkel has repeatedly drawn attention to the situation of the press in that Southern Caucasian country.

The report, endorsed in PACE in June, expressed concern over the deterioration of human rights, above all measures directed against journalists in the runup to the presidential elections this fall.

Among other things, the report by Herkel and Yevgenia Zhivkova of Bulgaria demands release of the imprisoned journalists Einulla Fatullajev, Ganimat Zahidov and Sakit Zahidov.