The Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsperson) of Azerbaijan Sabina Aliyeva has condemned the French government’s biased attitude towards a media representative.

An Azerbaijani journalist, who visited Germany to participate in an event organized by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Secretariat in Bonn, was detained at the Cologne/Bonn Airport on June 11 and informed that his entry into the Schengen area was blocked by France.

An examination by the appropriate German authorities showed that there were no legal reasons for the entrance prohibition, thus, the Azerbaijani journalist who had been invited to the event was permitted to enter the country after being detained at the airport for several hours.

“Such treatment of an Azerbaijani journalist violates international law norms and principles, particularly the right to free expression, media, and access to information, and adds to restrictions on journalists’ free activities.

According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, everyone has the right to freedom of religion and its free expression, the freedom to hold beliefs without interference, and the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

At the same time, France acted contrary to the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights, to which it’s a party.

Considering that this year Azerbaijan will host the 29th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP29), it’s unacceptable to hinder the participation of an Azerbaijani media representative in an event dedicated to the climate change topic in such a manner.

The fact that France obstructs a journalist’s professional activity due to political views and unfounded prejudices, and takes steps aimed at restricting freedom of movement, should be condemned by relevant international organizations, and this issue should be properly analysed,” Aliyeva added.