September 6, 2011 - Updated on January 20, 2016

Embassy cable confirmed government harassment of RFE/RL

Cable 09BAKU6 A classified cable to the US State Department from the US chargé d’affaires in Baku, Donald Lu, on 6 January 2009, released by WikiLeaks on 30 August, voiced concern about the Azerbaijani government’s harassment of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. The cable said the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology was threatening to cut the satellite connection between RFE/RL’s office in Azerbaijan and its headquarters in Prague. The threat appeared to be illegal because RFE/RL had an agreement with the ministry for use of this equipment, and had paid the necessary fees. The cable added that the threat clearly constituted “more harassment” of RFE/RL, which had been stripped of its permission to retransmit on local FM frequencies from the start of January 2009.