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China is world's worst jailer of the press; global tally second worst on record

More than 200 journalists are imprisoned for their work for the third consecutive year, reflecting a global surge in authoritarianism. China is the world’s worst jailer of journalists in 2014. A CPJ special report by Shazdeh Omari

An Egyptian protester calls for the release of freelance photographer Mahmoud Abou Zeid, also known as Shawkan, who has been imprisoned since August 2013. (AP/Amr Nabil)

Alerts   |   Azerbaijan

Investigative reporter Khadija Ismayilova jailed in Azerbaijan

Khadija Ismayilova, who has been jailed for two months pending trial, speaks here at the 2012 Courage in Journalism Awards hosted by the International Women's Media Foundation. (AP/Invision/Todd Williamson)

New York, December 5, 2014--An Azerbaijani court in Baku today ordered the imprisonment of award-winning investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova for two months pending trial after a local man accused her of urging him to commit suicide, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the ruling and calls on authorities in Azerbaijan to stop their prosecution of Ismayilova, who also faces charges of libel in a separate case.

"We call on Azerbaijani authorities to stop gagging reporters through trumped-up charges and arrests, and immediately release Khadija Ismayilova," said Muzaffar Suleymanov, CPJ's Europe and Central Asia research associate. "The politicized nature of the arrest is obvious--an award-winning reporter is being harassed for her work in Azerbaijan."

Alerts   |   Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan pressures press freedom advocate's family, raids apartment

New York, November 6, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the harassment by Azerbaijani officials of the family of Gulnara Akhundova, a regional expert with the Denmark-based press freedom group International Media Support (IMS). Akhundova's 67-year-old mother was interrogated on Wednesday by prosecutors in Baku who raided her apartment the same day, according to local press reports.

November 6, 2014 4:01 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan jails yet another critical reporter

New York, October 30, 2014--A court in Azerbaijan today sentenced Khalid Garayev, a reporter for the embattled opposition newspaper Azadliq and the technical director of "Azerbaijani Hour," Azadliq's online TV program, to almost a month in prison on charges of hooliganism and disobeying the police, according to news reports.

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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Alerts   |   Azerbaijan

Reporter on trial in Azerbaijan on criminal libel charges

New York, October 10, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the criminal libel charges filed against Khadija Ismayilova, an award-winning investigative journalist in Azerbaijan, and calls on authorities to drop the charges immediately.

Alerts   |   Azerbaijan

Journalist severely beaten in Nakhchivan republic of Azerbaijan

New York, August 29, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists strongly condemns the savage beating of Ilgar Nasibov, an independent journalist and human rights defender based in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic (NAR)--a mountainous exclave of Azerbaijan where the practice of journalism is severely restricted.

Statements   |   Azerbaijan

In Azerbaijan, media watchdog raided, equipment confiscated

New York, August 8, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Azerbaijani authorities to stop harassing the Baku-based media freedom group Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety. Detectives with Azerbaijan's Prosecutor General's Office raided the IRFS premises today, the local press reported. A journalist who was at the raid told CPJ that the detectives confiscated some of their equipment, including computers. The whereabouts of IRFS's director, Emin Huseynov, are unknown, the local press said. Two days ago, authorities stopped Huseynov from exiting Azerbaijan when he tried to travel to Turkey for medical treatment, according to the local news website Contact.

Alerts   |   Azerbaijan

Court in Azerbaijan sentences journalist to eight years in jail

New York, May 15, 2014--The eight-year prison term given today to a journalist in Azerbaijan is a breach of the country's declared commitments to press freedom, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Parviz Hashimli is the editor of the independent news website Moderator and a reporter for the independent newspaper Bizim Yol

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.

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