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Blog   |   Azerbaijan, Ireland

CPJ, HRW call on president of European Olympic Committees to engage with Azerbaijan on press freedom, human rights

A delegation of representatives from CPJ and Human Rights Watch met yesterday with Patrick Hickey, president of the European Olympic Committees, at the Dublin headquarters of the Olympic Council of Ireland. The delegation discussed the dismal state of press freedom and human rights in Azerbaijan, the host of the first-ever European Games in June and one of the 10 Most Censored Countries in the world.

Blog   |   Azerbaijan

International coalition calls on European Court to prioritize Azerbaijani press cases

Azerbaijan, one of the 10 Most Censored Countries in the world, according to new research by the Committee to Protect Journalists, is to host the first-ever European Games this June. As Baku prepares to bask in the spotlight by hosting an international mega-event yet again, eight of the country's independent journalists, including award-winning investigative reporter Khadija Ismayilova, languish in jail in retaliation for their work. Azerbaijan's most prominent media freedom defender, Emin Huseynov, has taken refuge at the Swiss embassy to avoid politically motivated prosecution and imprisonment; dozens of human rights defenders and civil activists have been jailed or forced into exile; and the work of multiple independent nongovernmental organizations and media outlets has been paralyzed or shuttered by authorities that have zero tolerance for criticism or dissent.

Blog   |   Azerbaijan

CPJ joins call for Azerbaijan to end persecution of investigative reporter

A coalition of international press freedom groups, including the Committee to Protect Journalists, today called on Azerbaijani authorities to lift the travel ban and end the politicized prosecution of Khadija Ismayilova, an award-winning investigative reporter. In the past week authorities in Baku detained Ismayilova upon her arrival from Strasbourg where she had traveled to brief European politicians on Azerbaijan's human rights record; put her on trial over accusations of libel against a resident; and barred her from attending a pro-democracy forum in the Czech Republic, alleging that she was a witness in an unspecified criminal inquiry.

October 16, 2014 5:40 PM ET

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Blog   |   Azerbaijan

Press freedom at low as Azerbaijan takes Council of Europe chairmanship

On Wednesday, Azerbaijan will assume chairmanship of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers. The chairmanship process is automatic; the position is rotated every six months among all of the council's members, in alphabetical order. But Azerbaijan's chairmanship has proven more problematic than most, as it comes at a time when the country's fulfillment of its Council of Europe obligations is at its worst.

Blog   |   Azerbaijan

In Barroso-Aliyev talks, press freedom takes a back seat

"We in Europe are also not perfect," José Manuel Barroso said last week while hosting a joint press conference in Brussels with Azerbaijan's head of state, Ilham Aliyev. The president of the European Commission, who is supposed to defend the EU's democratic values, seemed to prove his own point by deciding not to openly question his guest's rosy picture of Azerbaijan's human rights record.

Blog   |   Azerbaijan

Press freedom groups denounce repression in Azerbaijan

In a joint statement today, leading international press freedom and human rights groups, including CPJ, condemned the ongoing repression of journalists and rights activists in Azerbaijan and urged authorities to address the issue immediately.

Blog   |   Azerbaijan, CPJ

As Eurovision starts, partnership cites Baku repression

Police in Baku arrest a man during a protest seeking reforms in conjunction with Eurovision. (DAPD/Joern Haufe)

As the Eurovision song contest gets under way in Baku, Azerbaijani authorities continue to suppress freedom of expression, detaining 10 protesters on Monday, Reuters reported. The International Partnership Group for Azerbaijan, a coalition of free expression organizations that includes the Committee to Protect Journalists, has launched a website, Facebook and Twitter pages to highlight the country's long record of repression. 

Blog   |   Azerbaijan

The EBU must stand up for press freedom in Azerbaijan

The Committee to Protect Journalists and several other media and human rights groups have issued a letter after participating in the May 2 European Broadcasting Union-organized workshop on freedom of the media in Azerbaijan.

Blog   |   Azerbaijan

As Eurovision host, Azerbaijan must promote free press

Today in its report on the Most Censored Countries in the world, CPJ singled out Azerbaijan for its lack of foreign or independent broadcasters and because the handful of journalists there who manage to work on independent newspapers or websites are subjected to intimidation, harassment, physical attacks that occur with impunity for those responsible, and imprisonment on fabricated charges. Recently, CPJ urged President Ilham Aliyev to reverse a crackdown on the press that has led to the jailing of at least six journalists.

Blog   |   Azerbaijan

Eynulla Fatullayev awarded UNESCO/Cano Prize

Eynulla Fatullayev, center, is pictured with CPJ's Europe and Central Asia program coordinator, Nina Ognianova, and research associate Muzaffar Suleymanov at the 2011 International Press Freedom Awards in New York. (CPJ)

Azerbaijani journalist Eynulla Fatullayev has been named 2012 laureate of the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize, UNESCO announced yesterday.

April 18, 2012 5:34 PM ET

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