October 26, 2010

Beaten, Blacklisted, and Behind Bars:

The Vanishing Space for Freedom of Expression in Azerbaijan

I. Summary & Key Recommendations
II. Methodology
III. Background
Azerbaijan’s Political Landscape
Media in Azerbaijan
Broadcast Media
Print Media
Online Media
IV. Prosecution of Journalists and Human Rights Defenders
Criminal and Civil Defamation Cases against Journalists, Human Rights Defenders, and Other Government Critics
Relevant Laws of Azerbaijan
Cases brought by Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs
Defamation Cases Brought by Other Officials
Other criminal cases brought against journalists
Criminal defamation and other charges against Eynulla Fatullayev
Criminal prosecution and death in custody of Novruzali Mammadov
Fabricated hooliganism cases against journalists
Freedom of Expression and Criminal Defamation in International Law
International Standards on Criminal Defamation
Alternatives to Criminal defamation
V. Violence against Journalists
Violence against Journalists and Lack of Effective Investigations
Attack on Afgan Mukhtarli
Attack on journalists outside Sabail District Police Station No. 22
Ill-treatment of Idrak Abassov
Stabbing of Agil Khalil
Detention and ill-treatment of Emin Huseynov
Detention and ill-treatment of Seymur Haziev
Attack on Elmin Badalov
Chilling Effects
VI. Legislative and Other Restrictions on Freedom of the Media
Constitutional Amendments Restricting Freedom of Information
The negative effects of the amendments
Ban on Foreign Broadcasting
The Press Council and the Black List of Newspapers
The “Black List” and its impact
VII. International Responses to Azerbaijan’s  Repression of Free Expression
Council of Europe (CoE)
Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)
European Union (EU)
United States (U.S.)
VIII. Extended Recommendations
To the Azerbaijani President and Government
To the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Prosecutor General’s Office
To the Azerbaijani Parliament
To the Azerbaijani Judiciary
To the National Television and Radio Council
To the Press Council of Azerbaijan
To the Governments of the United States, European Union, and other bilateral partners
To the European Union:
To the Council of Europe:
To the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
To the United Nations
IX. Acknowledgements
X. Communication with Azerbaijani  Government Officials