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ARCHIVES: Azerbaijan

February 26, 2009

Azerbaijani journalist harassed by security agents, blindfolded and interrogated

A journalist who went to interview the minister of the Ministry of National Security (MNB) in Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic on February 20 was blindfolded and interrogated for hours, according to local news reports. The Committee to Project Journalists (CPJ) has called for an immediate investigation into the incident by the central Azerbaijani government. Security service agents intimidated and harassed Idrak Abbasov, a reporter with the independent newspaper Zerkalo and a... MORE
February 9, 2009

Court rejects early release for jailed newspaper reporter

Baku appeal court judge Rizvan Safarov on Thursday rejected a request for the conditional release of Azadlig reporter Sakit Zahidov, Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) had reported. The request was submitted by his lawyer, Isakhan Ashurov, on December 19 on the grounds that Zahidov has served half of his three-year jail sentence and, under Azerbaijani law, qualifies for early release. “We regret that the Azerbaijani judicial system did not seize this opportunity to release Zahidov and thereby... MORE
January 5, 2009

Azerbaijan ban on foreign radio stations called 'strategic error' by RSF

Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has expressed disappointment at Azerbaijan's National Television and Radio Council’s decision to ban foreign radio stations from broadcasting on local FM and medium wave frequencies from January 1. The December 30 decision withdraws the licences of foreign radio stations to broadcast on local frequencies. As well as RFE/RL, Voice of America and BBC, the measure affects the local FM broadcasts of Russian radio station Europe Plus. The National Television and Radio... MORE
November 19, 2008

Azerbaijani editor sentenced to six-month jail term

An Azerbaijani court convicted Ali Hasanov, editor-in-chief of the pro-government daily Ideal , on defamation charges and sentenced him to six months in jail, according to the head of the Baku-based Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety (IRFS), Emin Huseynov. The journalist was taken immediately into custody in court on Friday. His lawyer plans to appeal the ruling, according to Huseynov. Hasanov's trial was based on a lawsuit filed in September by a woman named Sabira Makhmudova, who... MORE
November 4, 2008

Azerbaijan decides to end foreign broadcasts on local radio

Authorities in Azerbaijan have decided to halt local broadcasts by foreign stations by the end of the year. The chairman of Azerbaijan's National Television and Radio Council, Nushiravan Meherremli, told independent news agency Turan that his country is not interested in granting local frequencies to foreign broadcasters. The policy change will affect the the British Broadcasting Corporation, and US-financed Voice of America and Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty. RFE/RL's Azerbaijani service—... MORE
October 14, 2008

Azerbaijan President Aliyev continues to dominate state media’s electoral coverage

As Azerbaijan gears up for the forthcoming elections in October, President Ilham Aliyev continues to dominate the state-owned media landscape. The president’s visits to various regions of the country and the government’s diplomatic activities continued to be the leading stories in state-owned media. Election coverage has also been plentiful, but it focused mainly on the preparations being carried out by the regional and local electoral commissions, says Reporters sans Frontières (RSF). The... MORE
June 26, 2008

Editor of defunct minority newspaper in Azerbaijan given prison sentences on treason charges

A Baku court Tuesday convicted the editor of a small, minority newspaper on a treason charge and to sentence him to 10 years in prison. Novruzali Mamedov, editor of now-defunct Talyshi Sado (Voice of the Talysh), was tried in closed-door proceedings that began in March, according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). Judge Shakir Alekserov of the Court for Grave Crimes read the verdict in the absence of Mamedov's defense lawyer, relatives, and the press, according to... MORE
June 25, 2008

Azerbaijan court convicts newspaper editor of state treason

A court in Azerbaijan convicted a newspaper editor of state treason Tuesday and sentenced him to 10 years in prison, the Associated Press (AP) has eported. Novruzali Mammadov, the editor of Talysh Sado, or Voice of the Talysh, was arrested in February 2007 together with the paper's administrator, Elman Guliyev, who also was found guilty Tuesday and sentenced to six years imprisonment. The editor's lawyer, Ramiz Mammadov, said his client was innocent of treason and will appeal. Details:... MORE
June 21, 2008

Embattled Azerbaijani journalist blocked from travelling abroad

An Azerbaijani journalist who has been honored by Amnesty International says authorities have prevented him from taking a flight out of the country, according to Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL). Aqil Xalil, a 25-year-old correspondent with Azadliq , Azerbaijan's largest opposition daily, was shortlisted for Amnesty's Special Award for Human Rights Journalism Under Threat. The award, which was announced earlier this week, went to Yemeni newspaper editor Abdul Karim al-Khaiwani. Here's... MORE
June 20, 2008

Azerbaijani journalist Agil Khalil barred from leaving country

Authorities at Heydar Aliyev International Airport barred a reporter whose life has been threatened from leaving the country today, the Baku-based Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety said. Agil Khalil, a reporter for the independent daily Azadlyg , tried to board a flight to France Thursday morning when he was stopped by a plainclothes agent at a passport checkpoint. Khalil did not receive an official explanation, according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)... MORE