Azerbaijan / Europe & Central Asia

Journalists attacked in Azerbaijan since 1992

  
Independent Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarli speaks in Baku, Azerbaijan ,,on Sunday, March 2, 2014. Mukhtarli spoke to CPJ after his release from prison in Azerbaijan on March 17, 2020. (AP Photo/Aziz Karimov)

Journalist Afgan Mukhtarli: ‘Azerbaijani prisoners are facing death under coronavirus quarantine’

Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarli was released from prison on March 17, 2020, after nearly three years in jail, and flown to Berlin, where he was reunited with his wife and daughter. He served half of his six-year sentence on charges that Azerbaijani authorities brought in retaliation for his investigative reporting, as CPJ research shows.

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The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Exiled journalist Emin Huseynov filed a complaint to the court that argues Azerbaijan stripped him of his citizenship in retaliation for his critical views. (AFP/Frederick Florin)

CPJ submits amicus brief to European Court on Azerbaijani journalist Emin Huseynov

The Committee to Protect Journalists, along with the organizations International Media Support, IFEX, and the International Senior Lawyers Project submitted an amicus curiae brief to the European Court of Human Rights in support of a legal complaint by Azerbaijani journalist and human rights advocate Emin Huseynov.

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A cell phone takes photos of an August 2016 meeting in Baku between the presidents of Russia, Iran, and Azerbaijan. President Ilham Aliyev claims internet is 'free of censorship' in Azerbaijan, but authorities have blocked access to critical news websites. (Alexander Nemenov/Pool/AP)

Freedom of speech is guaranteed Aliyev says as Azerbaijan blocks news websites

President Ilham Aliyev claims that in Azerbaijan the internet is free and press freedom is guaranteed. But ahead of the April 11 snap elections, authorities have systematically silenced critical voices online through amending laws and blocking news websites, and hackers have attacked independent news outlets.

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Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev arrives in Brussels in November 2017. Azerbaijan has continued to harass and censor its press ahead of snap elections scheduled for April 11. (AP/Olivier Matthys/File)

Azerbaijan goes to the polls amid muzzled media and blocked websites

When it comes to silencing critics, Azerbaijani authorities have been industrious and methodical. Ahead of snap presidential elections scheduled for April 11, potential opposition candidates have been either jailed or barred from running, and the political landscape has been cleansed of virtually all formal avenues of expressing dissent.

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Former Gambia President Yahya Jammeh, pictured in November 2016, is among the suspected human rights abusers to be penalized under the U.S. Magnitsky Act. (Reuters/Thierry Gouegnon)

Mixed first year, but Global Magnitsky Act could be strong tool in fight for justice

In December, the U.S. government announced the names of those it will penalize under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights and Accountability Act.

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Russia and former Soviet states emboldened by declining press freedom in US, Europe

Receding media freedom in established European democracies and in the United States has emboldened authoritarian governments in Russia and other former Soviet countries to crack down on independent voices at home. I am sharing this information today with the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe-known as the Helsinki Commission-and the House Freedom of…

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Leyla Mustafayeva holds her husband's passport at a May 29 rally in Tbilisi to protest the detention of Afgan Mukhtarli, who was abducted and forcibly taken to Azerbaijan. (AP/Shakh Aivazov)

CPJ joins call for Georgia to investigate case of exiled journalist forcibly taken back to Azerbaijan

The Committee to Protect Journalists joined 22 international rights organizations in calling on Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili to ensure that the case of Afgan Mukhtarli, an Azerbaijani journalist living in exile in Tbilisi who is now in custody in the country’s capital, Baku, is fully investigated. CPJ documented last month how Mukhtarli was abducted…

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A man uses his laptop in a Baku street. Azerbaijan has extended its press freedom crackdown to include bloggers and social media users. (Reuters/Stoyan Nenov)

Azerbaijani authorities tighten screws on independent media

When officials in Baku released several high-profile journalists, including investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova, from prison in May last year, the international media rights community breathed a sigh of relief. But any optimism was short-lived, with authorities in recent months prosecuting journalists and bloggers, and passing restrictive online media laws.

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President François Hollande speaks at the opening of the Open Government Partnership summit in Paris in December, where press freedom was added to the agenda. (Jacky Naegelen/Pool/AFP)

Press freedom on OGP agenda as authoritarianism rises

There was poignancy to the Paris summit of the Open Government Partnership, as leaders from government and civil society took the stage to defend a political ideology under siege: liberal democracy. French President François Hollande, who amid weak public support announced he will not seek re-election in 2017, called democracy “so fragile and so precious.”…

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World Refugee Day: Fear of arrest drives journalists into exile

In August 2014 two journalists living more than 4,000 miles apart slipped across a border to find safety: one with his wife and three children, the other alone. Idrak Abbasov, from Azerbaijan, and Sanna Camara, from Gambia, faced imprisonment because of their reporting. Neither has been able to return home.

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