Azerbaijan / Europe & Central Asia

  

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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A woman in a face mask is seen addressing the camera in a YouTube vide.

Journalists jailed for social media “terrorism” highlight content moderation challenges

A journalist in China uploaded a video to YouTube criticizing the Chinese government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan. Another, in Vietnam, left a state-owned newspaper but continued posting stories they wouldn’t let her cover on Facebook. In Egypt, a freelance photographer streamed an anti-government protest from his balcony on Facebook Live. In Iran,…

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BBC correspondent describes staying safe, finding journalistic camaraderie during Nagorno-Karabakh’s 6-week war

Journalists who covered the recent six-week-long conflict between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces in the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh faced violence to get the story of the region’s latest bloody chapter to the world. At least six journalists were injured in shelling attacks in Nagorno-Karabakh and two were assaulted when a mob descended on a broadcaster in Armenia to oppose its reporting on…

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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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