Freedom House's biased approach towards Azerbaijan
International organizations, such as Freedom House, prepare reports each year in different directions, thus categorizing countries. Reports of such organizations are not always fair. Freedom House has recently released its report on Internet freedom, but it has again proved that the organization is biased and unfair. Thus, the report shows Azerbaijan back from the countries of the region, emphasizing that the Internet is not free in the country. An interesting point is that everyone in the world is well aware that there is no limit to the Internet in Azerbaijan.
"Human rights organization Freedom House has published the next annual Internet freedom rating and ranked Azerbaijan 48th place among 65 countries. Everyone is well aware of the biased approach of this organization towards Azerbaijan. Also known as the fact is that, in general, the organization’s reports are political,” said Chairman of Azerbaijan’s Press Council, MP Aflatun Amashov.
He said Freedom House named China, whose population exceeds 1.2 billion people, as a country with no Internet freedom.
"The first place was taken by Iceland, whose population is a little more than 300 thousand people. I do not compare the area of the territory. If we approach the issue based on elementary logic, it is clear that in any case, China should have more problems associated with the Internet. But this does not matter for this organization, because their goal is to position China as a country that does not like freedom, ” Amashov said.
According to him, when preparing the report, Freedom House analyzed 65 countries in which 87 percent of users of the global network live.
"This approach is surprising. I wonder what proportion of the population of Iceland, ranked first, has? Or can this share take the first line of the rating? So, if 87 percent of Internet users are concentrated in 65 of about 200 countries, it would be logical to seek the restriction of freedom precisely in the remaining countries. Naturally, if the intentions are pure...” the MP noted.
"Before moving to Azerbaijan, I’ll inform you that Freedom House placed Georgia and Armenia in 10 and 13 places, respectively. Indeed, for many years now the organization has been demonstrating loyalty to its "traditions”. It turns out that Armenia is among the world leaders in Internet freedom and takes 13th place. Suppose the situation in Georgia is better than in Azerbaijan. But if you compare, the difference cannot be as large as displayed in the report,” he said.
Yes, there are problems in the Internet sphere in Azerbaijan, Amashov emphasized. "Nobody excludes this. But the situation is not quite the same as Freedom House depicts. The Internet occupies a significant place in legal relations. In general, the Internet has entered the life of Azerbaijan. The number of Facebook users totals about two million people.”
"The Internet is considered in Azerbaijan as an important driving force of the information segment. If we want to talk about a problem, then yes, I must say that today in the country there are facts of abuse of the Internet. Day by day we come across new news sites. This is the danger that threatens freedom,” the MP added.
"In conclusion, I want to repeat once again that Freedom House has always held a biased position with respect to Azerbaijan. The organization used the old templates in this report. This approach is categorically unacceptable,” said Aflatun Amashov.
Freedom House's ranking of Azerbaijan in its latest report is the biggest confirmation that its previous reports were completely wrong, biased and unrealistic, Editor-in-Chief of Azerbaijan's Baki Khabar newspaper, political expert Aydin Guliyev told Kaspi. "So far, evaluating Freedom House's reports on Azerbaijan, we always tried to prove it wrong by presenting various arguments and objective justifications. Certainly, some objective circles around the world rely on the arguments brought by Azerbaijan. But the organization’s latest approach has once again revealed that all previous reports were truly biased. Azerbaijan is perhaps the only country in the world, especially in the East and Asia, where no official government document or unofficial indication is in the context of the Internet limitation,” he emphasized.
Guliyev said that today, more than 80 percent of Azerbaijan's population is internet users. "The remaining 20 percent are simply certain age groups that are not interested in using the Internet. That is why it is an unfair and biased approach to take Azerbaijan backward on the issue of internet freedom and to put it behind Armenia, which has called for official control over the internet. The whole world knows that Pashinyan has nearly issued official instructions on the control of social networks, and certain steps have been taken towards its implementation. In the face of this, it is the result of a biased approach to rank Armenia in the first places and Azerbaijan in the last. I think that those who know about Azerbaijan will not believe in this biased and frivolous approach,” the expert added.