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China, Egypt imprison record numbers of journalists

Egypt is second only to China as the world’s worst jailer of journalists in 2015. Worldwide, the number of journalists behind bars for their work declined moderately during the year, but a handful of countries continue to use systematic imprisonment to silence criticism. A CPJ special report by Elana Beiser

The Egyptian photojournalist known as Shawkan appears before a court in Cairo in May 2015 for the first time after more than 600 days in jail. A record number of journalists are imprisoned in Egypt in 2015. (AP/Lobna Tarek)

Blog   |   Azerbaijan

CPJ joins calls for Azerbaijan to release Khadija Ismayilova

In a statement to mark the one-year anniversary of the imprisonment of Azerbaijani journalist Khadija Ismayilova, Sport for Rights --a coalition of international press freedom groups that includes the Committee to Protect Journalists--called for the immediate and unconditional release of Ismayilova and all other journalists and rights activists jailed in Azerbaijan for their work. The statement also called on Azerbaijani authorities to end their crackdown on the press.

December 4, 2015 4:57 PM ET

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Reports   |   Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, UK

Balancing Act

Summary

The European Union describes itself as a model for press freedom and an exemplary global power. Although many of its 28 member states feature at the top of international press freedom rankings, there are significant challenges that undermine press freedom and new threats are emerging.

Alerts   |   Azerbaijan

In Azerbaijan, Meydan TV reporters harassed, jailed

New York, September 18, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the harassment of independent news outlet Meydan TV by Azerbaijani authorities. This week Shirin Abbasov, a reporter for the outlet, was imprisoned, authorities searched the home of another of its reporters, and questioned two journalists who work for the outlet.

Statements   |   Azerbaijan

CPJ condemns 7.5-year prison term for Khadija Ismayilova

New York, September 1, 2015--The Baku Court of Serious Crimes today convicted Khadija Ismayilova, one of Azerbaijan's most prominent investigative reporters, of illegal business, tax evasion, abuse of power, and embezzlement, and sentenced her to seven and a half years in prison, according to local press reports. The court dropped the charge of incitement to suicide, the reports said. A state prosecutor had requested a nine-year sentence during a closed hearing. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the verdict and sentence and calls on Azerbaijan to scrap them on appeal.

Statements   |   Azerbaijan

Azerbaijani prosecutor requests nine-year jail term for Khadija Ismayilova

New York, August 21, 2015--A state prosecutor today called for Azerbaijani investigative reporter Khadija Ismayilova to be sentenced to nine years in prison, according to pro-government news agency Trend. The request was made during a hearing in the Baku Court of Serious Crimes that was closed to independent journalists and rights activists, the regional press reported. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the trial and calls on Azerbaijan to drop all charges against Ismayilova.

Alerts   |   Azerbaijan

In Azerbaijan, independent journalist dies after being beaten in Baku

New York, August 10, 2015--An independent reporter in Azerbaijan died early Sunday after being beaten viciously the day before in Baku, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on authorities in Azerbaijan to conduct an efficient and transparent investigation into the attack on Rasim Aliyev, determine the motive, and ensure all of the perpetrators are brought to justice.

Statements   |   Azerbaijan

Baku court bars press and family from Khadija Ismayilova trial

New York, August 7, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Azerbaijani authorities to ensure due process in the trial against award-winning investigative reporter Khadija Ismayilova. When Ismayilova appeared at Baku Court on Grave Crimes for the first substantive hearing in her case today, journalists, international observers, and the reporter's family were barred from entering the courtroom, according to press reports.

Blog   |   Azerbaijan

International coalition marks anniversary of crackdown on rights in Azerbaijan

A year after the Azerbaijani government launched an unprecedented crackdown on human rights including press freedom, the situation in the country continues to deteriorate, the Sports for Rights coalition said today. The coalition of international organizations, including CPJ, released a statement today to mark the anniversary of what is widely described as the worst government campaign against critics that Baku has ever carried out.

July 30, 2015 2:29 PM ET

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Statements   |   Azerbaijan

CPJ calls on Azerbaijan to free jailed journalist Khadija Ismayilova

New York, July 23, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Azerbaijani authorities to immediately release Khadija Ismayilova, an investigative journalist who has been imprisoned since December on charges of embezzlement, tax evasion, and abuse of power, among others. Ismayilova's trial is scheduled to be held on Friday in Baku, according to news reports. If convicted, she faces up to 19 years in prison. CPJ and other international press freedom groups believe the charges against Ismayilova are in retaliation for her coverage of corruption in the Azerbaijani government.

July 23, 2015 1:09 PM ET

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