On 17 July 2017, the European and International Federations of Journalists submitted the following alert to the Council of Europe’s platform for the safety and protection of journalists
The State Fund for the “Support of Mass Media Development in Azerbaijan” will provide to journalists free government housing grants on 22 July 2017, National Press Day in Azerbaijan. A first “Journalists’ House” built in the Bibiheybat settlement of Baku by state budget funds was commissioned in 2013. A total of 156 journalists were allotted apartments there. The second “Journalists’ House” will host 255 journalists. The apartments will be distributed on 22 July. Broadcasting companies were allowed to nominate up to 10 candidates; daily newspapers and news agencies up to six candidates; weekly publications, news portals and websites up to three candidates. Several media representatives and journalists strongly criticized this State initiative: they believe that journalists who are granted apartments for free will fall under the government’s control.