Azerbaijan closes independent TV channel over cleric interview

Azerbaijan closes independent TV channel over cleric interview
(Image: Wing1990hk under a CC licence)

1 August 2016

The Azerbaijani authorities have shut down an independent TV station over a planned interview with Fethullah Gulen, the Muslim cleric accused by Turkey of being behind the recent failed coup attempt in the country.

Azerbaijan’s court of appeal revoked the ANS television channel’s licence after a complaint was filed by the National Television and Radio Council (NTRC). The country’s law permits the government to close media outlets deemed to be giving a platform to extremist views.

“ANS took a position that contradicted the strategic partnership between the Azeri and Turkish people by offering support to Fethullah Gulen and his supporters, who organied the bloody events that led to multiple deaths,” the NTRC stated on 29 July. The Turkish cleric, who lives in the USA, denies these charges.

Source: Radio Liberty