18:59 15/08/2013 " SOCIETY

"It would seem that punishment comes first, while legislation will
be passed only later," editor Margarita Akhvlediani questions the
legality of Azerbaijan's blacklist, informs the War and Peace Reporting
Institute (WPRI).

Akhvlediani, who was shocked to see her name in that list, notes:
"I have worked as a journalist editor across the whole of the Caucasus
for more than 20 years, and I regularly visit various regions, because
journalistic work requires one to be there in person, otherwise one
might miss significant trends and views, particularly in remote areas.

Azerbaijan still has a rule that you only need to get approval for
visit to Nagorno Karabakh if you need a visa to enter Azerbaijan,
[but] Georgian citizens don't need a visa. Azerbaijan is now planning
to change the law ... and it's possible new requirements will be put
in place." Akhvlediani visited Nagorno-Karabakh Republic in 2011.

Another journalist Zarina Sanakoeva states, "It's an ill-conceived
move, and unjust in purely human terms, I think it's doubtful that
there's any political benefit to be gained from it." WPRI writes that
Sanakoeva is from South Ossetia, which broke away from Georgia just
when Nagorno Karabakh became independent. She is also banned from
entry to Azerbaijan because of her visit to Nagorno Karabakh.

Head of Human Rights Center in Azerbaijan Eldar Zeynalov is convinced
that government can refuse entry to certain people, but what will
Azerbaijan gain from including journalists, charity workers, and
artists in that list? According to Zeynalov the list looks "rather
incomplete." Some names have photos next to them, others don't,
there are specific explanations for the refusal for some individuals,
but not in all of them. "All this suggests that the document was
prepared in a hurry, primarily for internal consumption," Zeynalov
says and notes that the names are transliterated, which means that
individuals can't find their names in the list by using search engines.

Azerbaijan has included 335 individuals in the blacklist of personae
non gratae. The list includes politicians, journalists, artists,
photographers, and others. The reason is visiting Nagorno Karabakh
Republic without the permission of Azerbaijan. Moreover, Spanish
opera singer Montserrat Caballe's visit to Nagorno Karabakh caused
a minor diplomatic row between Baku and Madrid.

The blacklist includes parliamentarians from Britain, Canada, France,
Russia, Argentina and Uruguay, 8 members of the European Parliament,
journalists, and so on.