Critical journalist receives numerous death threats

JANUARY 28-30, 2008
Posted February 1, 2008

Uzeyir Jafarov, Baku Zaman

Jafarov, a reporter of the independent daily Baku Zaman and a former editor of the now-shuttered Azeri-language daily Gündalik Azarbaycan, said he received numerous death threats from anonymous callers. Jafarov said the calls began after he wrote critical stories about the army and defense ministry.

Jafarov told CPJ the callers used abusive language and threatened his life. He said he filed a complaint with police in Baku. The calls were so frequent, Jafarov said, that they came even as he was filing his complaint at the police station.

A retired military officer, Jafarov has investigated corruption in the Azerbaijani army for Baku Zaman. CPJ research shows that Jafarov has been subjected to past harassment. Last year he survived a brutal attack after he probed corruption in the defense ministry for Gündalik Azarbaycan. Although he identified the attackers by name, authorities did not investigate or question witnesses.