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.

The crackdown by Baku threatens to undermine the democratic nature of the presidential vote scheduled to be held in October. According to the statement, which is backed by CPJ research, Azerbaijan is holding at least seven journalists in jail; has failed to bring to justice those behind a campaign of intimidation against leading investigative reporter Khadija Ismailova; and continues to tolerate impunity in the murders of journalists Elmar Huseynov and Rafiq Tagi. The statement condemned new restrictive legislation that threatens the work of local press freedom groups as well as government attempts to impose control over the Internet.

Read the full statement here.