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ARCHIVES: Azerbaijan

March 18, 2014

CPJ condemns journalist's conviction in Azerbaijan

The Committee to Protect Journalists has condemned a five-year jail term given on Monday to Tofiq Yaqublu , an Azerbaijani journalist with the opposition daily Yeni Musavat , and called on authorities to overturn the verdict on appeal. Yaqublu, who was convicted of "organising mass disorder," was arrested in January 2013 in connection with anti-government protests in the town of Ismayilli. He was covering the protests at the time of his arrest, his colleagues said. The journalist is appealing... MORE
March 18, 2014

Azerbaijan: Supreme Court decision fuels calls for libel reform

Azerbaijan should promptly revise its libel laws to meet international standards for freedom of expression and the media, the Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety (IRFS) and Media Rights Institute (MRI) have said. The organizations called on Azerbaijan's Parliament (Milli Meclis) to strike down articles 147 (libel), 148 (insult), 323 (humiliation of honor and dignity of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan) and 324 (offensive actions against the flag or the national emblem of the... MORE
February 21, 2014

Prominent journalist harassed again in Azerbaijan

The Committee to Protect Journalists is gravely concerned by the official harassment of investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova , who is being criminally investigated in Baku in apparent retaliation for her reporting on government corruption. Ismayilova works for the Azerbaijani service of the U.S.-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty . Since Tuesday, Ismayilova has been repeatedly questioned by the Serious Crimes Investigation Department of the Prosecutor General's Office in Baku, which... MORE
September 4, 2011

Azerbaijan: Nakhchivan authorities continue to harass IRFS correspondent

Hakimeldostu Mehdiyev, the correspondent of the Institute for Reporter Freedom and Safety (IRFS) in Sharur, in the north of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, has been charged by the district prosecutor’s office with “diverting electricity” under article 189-1 of the criminal code. Sanan Pashayev, the official in charge of the investigation, made Mehdiyev signed an undertaking that he would not leave the Sharur district. The charge carries a maximum fine of 3,000 manat (2,600 euros), which... MORE
August 3, 2011

Azerbaijan: Authorities in lawless Nakhchivan impose news blackout on detainee’s death

Security officials in Nakhchivan – an autonomous Azerbaijani exclave between Armenia and Iran – have been harassing journalists in an attempt to impose a news blackout on a death in detention and the disappearance of four other young people who had been summoned for questioning, according to Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF). “After eliminating almost all the sources of news and information, Nakhchivan’s security services are carrying out intolerable human rights... MORE
July 20, 2011

Azerbaijan: Journalist hounded in autonomous republic, two colleagues attacked

Hakimeldostu Mehdiyev, a correspondent of the Institute for Reporters Freedom and Safety (IRFS) in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, has repeatedly been harassed by officials for the past week. It is the latest example of the intolerance that the local authorities show towards the media in Nakhchivan, an Azerbaijani exclave between Armenia and Iran, Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has said. “This harassment of Mehdiyev on the most ridiculous pretexts must stop... MORE
July 7, 2011

Azerbaijan: Foreign reporters denied entry as territorial dispute escalates

Both Armenia and Azerbaijan have been denying entry to foreign journalists amid an increase in tension between the two countries over Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory within Azerbaijan that has a mostly Armenian population. The media have become a hostage to this conflict, according to Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF). “We urge the Armenian and Azerbaijan authorities to leave the media out of their diplomatic dispute,” RSF said. “Journalists must be free to... MORE
May 27, 2011

Azerbaijan editor freed on presidential pardon after 4 years in prison

Realny Azerbaijan editor Eynulla Fatullayev was finally released May 26 on a presidential pardon after four years in prison. “We share the joy of Eynulla Fatullayev’s family and colleagues,” Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) said after confirming that he arrived at his home at around 6 p.m. May 26. “He had become the symbol of abuse of authority by a regime that used every kind of ploy to keep him in prison as long as possible. The pardon is just one more act by an... MORE
April 12, 2011

PACE must take action to address alarming freedom of expression situation in Azerbaijan

Member organisations of the International Partnership Group for Azerbaijan (IPGA) are deeply concerned by the rapidly deteriorating freedom of expression situation in Azerbaijan. In recent weeks there has been a wave of arrests and beatings of activists and journalists in connection with a series of pro-democracy protests in the country as well as an increase in pressure against non-governmental organisations, and two journalists have been abducted and beaten in connection with criticising the... MORE
April 5, 2011

Journalists among victims of Azerbaijan regime’s violent response to pro-democracy protests

As pro-democracy protests gain pace in Azerbaijan, the regime is cracking down harder on journalists in a desperate attempt to assert its control over news and information. The authorities at first concentrated on imposing a news blackout by preventing journalists from covering demonstrations and criminalizing Facebook users. But in a new escalation, opposition journalists are now being abducted and beaten. In the latest case, three men in civilian dress intercepted Ramin Deco , a reporter for... MORE