Azerbaijan / Europe & Central Asia

  

Forensic tools open new front for using phone data to prosecute journalists

On April 13, police in Russia’s Khakassiya republic arrested Mikhail Afanasyev and seized his digital devices. Afanasyev, chief editor of the online magazine Novy Fokus, was detained based on an article about riot police in southern Siberia refusing to serve in Ukraine. He faces a possible 10-year prison sentence for spreading “false” information.  It’s not surprising for…

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Azerbaijani journalist Avaz Zeynalli, lawyer Elchin Sadygov remanded for 4 months on bribery charges

New York, September 12, 2022 – Azerbaijani authorities should release journalist Avaz Zeynalli and lawyer Elchin Sadygov and drop the charges against them, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Monday. On Saturday, September 10, uniformed officers who identified themselves as part of the prosecutor general’s office arrested Zeynalli, owner and chief editor of the independent…

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Azerbaijan journalist Aytan Mammadova threatened at knifepoint

New York, May 11, 2022 – Azerbaijan authorities must swiftly and thoroughly investigate threats and a recent attack against journalist Aytan Mammadova and ensure her safety, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Wednesday. Around midnight on May 8, an unidentified man grabbed Mammadova in the elevator of her apartment building in the Binagadi district in…

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CPJ calls on President Aliyev to protect press freedom, journalist safety in Azerbaijan

CPJ writes to President Ilham Aliyev to concerns about growing threats to press freedom and the safety of journalists in Azerbaijan, and urge him to take immediate steps to reverse this trend.

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Azerbaijani journalists detained, beaten for covering protest

Stockholm, February 15, 2022 – Azerbaijani authorities should investigate allegations of police brutality against three journalists detained while covering a protest and allow all members of the press to work freely, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Tuesday. This morning, police in the capital Baku detained Fatima Mövlamli, a reporter for independent news site Azadliq,…

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New Azerbaijan media law increases restrictions on the press

Stockholm, February 10, 2022 – Azerbaijan authorities should repeal a newly enacted media law that increases state control of the press, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Thursday. On Tuesday, February 8, President Ilham Aliyev enacted the law “On Media,” which replaces existing laws governing media outlets, according to news reports and a copy of…

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Pegasus Project revelations show added layer of risk for corruption reporters

Exposing those who abuse power for personal gain is a dangerous activity. Nearly 300 journalists killed for their work since CPJ started keeping records in 1992 covered corruption, either as their primary beat, or one of several. The risk was reaffirmed this month with the release of the Pegasus Project, collaborative reporting by 17 global…

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Azerbaijani journalist Sevinj Vagifgizi was ‘astonished’ to learn of Pegasus spyware on phone

Azerbaijani authorities have long had a firm grip on the media by imprisoning, harassing, and persecuting journalists both at home and abroad as well as blocking their websites. Now authorities are alleged to have used a new tool in their quest to muzzle independent reporting: spyware. Several Azerbaijani journalists have been named in the collaborative…

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Protestors holding signs

At-risk journalists who must flee home countries often find few quick and safe options

In 2018, journalist Mohammad Shubaat was in Daraa, Syria, caught between advancing forces aligned with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the closed borders of Israel and Jordan. Despite the dire threat to Shubaat and many of his colleagues, it would take over a year of intense negotiations with some 20 countries by the Committee to…

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European soccer association UEFA denies accreditations to at least 6 journalists, citing failed background checks by Russia and Azerbaijan

New York, June 15, 2021 – The Union of European Football Associations should ensure that all journalists can report from its events freely and without political interference from host countries, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Since late May, UEFA, an umbrella organization comprised of 55 national soccer associations across Europe, has denied or…

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