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Afgan Mukhtarli Reunited with His Family in Exile

Afgan Mukhtarli, a prominent investigative journalist and a political activist, was freed yesterday – a rare bit of good news from Azerbaijan. Mukhtarli had been serving a 6-year prison sentence handed down in 2017 on bogus,…
Journalist Afgan Mukhtarli rejoins his daughter in a Berlin airport following his release from prison in Azerbaijan, March 17, 2020.
News

Authorities Should Release Mehman Huseynov and Drop All Charges

Azerbaijan authorities know no limits when it comes to silencing government critics. As everyone was celebrating the New Year, Azerbaijan authorities were busy pressing new charges against one of the country’s most popular anti-…
Mehman Huseynov.
News

Free Journalists, Rights Defenders, Politicians Jailed in Turkey

Given the present state of human rights in Turkey, the German government has come in for criticism over the elaborate plans for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey’s upcoming visit on September 28 and 29, including a state banquet…
From left to right: Ahmet Altan, Mehmet Altan, Nazlı Ilıcak
News

At Least 10 Other Journalists or Bloggers Still Behind Bars Should Also Be Freed

There was rare good news from Baku today – Azerbaijan’s supreme court partially reversed the conviction of a journalist, Aziz Orujov, and released him on a suspended three-year sentence. Granted, he should have never been…
Jailed journalist Aziz Orujov released from prison, Baku, Azerbaijan, April 5, 2018.
News

Bogus Tax Investigation Threatens to Close Turan News Agency

Just last month, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev gave more than 200 apartments away free to journalists and accepted a “friend of journalists” award in return. He claimed that thousands of press agencies operate in Azerbaijan.…
Journalists at Turan News Agency in Azerbaijan while tax police raided their office earlier this month.
News

Journalists’ Trial Part of Vicious Crackdown on Independent Voices

A journalist prosecuted for allegedly helping a group which he spent years criticizing in his work. Emails received – but not answered – from people the government views as undesirables, and newspaper clippings presented as evidence of…
A demonstration outside a courthouse in Istanbul, Turkey in solidarity with the staff of the opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet on trial over alleged support to terrorist groups, July 24, 2017.
News

Police Attack Reporter Who Alleged High-Level Corruption

Azerbaijan’s police this week showed one of the country’s most popular journalists and bloggers, Mehman Huseynov, the cost of being a tenacious journalist these days in the country. In the evening of Monday, January 9, 2017, after Huseynov didn’t show up…
Mehman Huseynov.
News
The European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini visits Azerbaijan today to discuss deepening cooperation between the two entities. The visit comes two months after the transfer of the leading human rights defender Leyla Yunus and her husband,…
Leyla Yunus returning to her house, December 9, 2015
News
On two consecutive days this week Azerbaijan’s abysmal human rights record came under direct scrutiny – by the United Nations and the Council of Europe, one of Europe’s foremost human rights bodies. This focused high-level attention is unprecedented, and…
Giorgi Gogia_2015
News
The choice of Turkey as the location for the world’s annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF) might have been the conference’s most fundamental problem. But it was not the only one. Thousands of stakeholders from around the globe gathered to discuss how to…
News
I had to check the calendar to make sure that it was not April Fool’s day, when I saw news reports that Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev was presented a “Friend of Journalists” award by local media representatives on November 24.  One has to try hard to…
News
Today is the official “day of silence” in Azerbaijan, when all election campaigning stops before Wednesday’s presidential vote. But for the past nine months, the government has worked overtime to silence the political opposition. President Ilham Aliyev is…
News
Prime Minister Erdoğan’s speech today announcing the long-awaited “democracy reform package” is the Turkish government’s first attempt to turn the page after the harsh clampdown that began in May with the Taksim Gezi park protests. It has also been seen…