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Washington, D.C., May 7, 2019 — Azerbaijani authorities should swiftly investigate the harassment and attempted extortion of exiled journalist Sevinc Osmanqizi by pro-government broadcaster Real TV, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
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.
Two contributors to the Azerbaijani broadcaster Meydan TV, which has broadcast from Berlin since 2014 out of concern for the safety of its staff, received death threats on October 4, 2016, according to press reports.