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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who will be in London next week to pitch foreign investment, is mired in political controversy at home. The corruption scandal involving the government-owned 1 Malaysia Development Berhad fund refuses to…
Malaysia's (L-R) Prime Minister Najib Razak and King Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah wave Malaysian national flags during National Day celebrations in Kuala Lumpur, August 31, 2015.
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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
Over the last year, reporting about FIFA, football’s scandal-plagued governing body, has focused on arrests, corruption, and worker rights abuses in the upcoming World Cup host countries, Russia and Qatar. So today’s news that…
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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
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Today Julian Assange, the Wikileaks publisher, begins his third year confined in the Ecuadorean embassy in London. He fled there, receiving political asylum, when Sweden sought his extradition to answer sexual assault allegations. Although both Assange…
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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…
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Today’s Westminster debate on the role of the UK intelligence and security services is long overdue. Four months after the Guardian newspaper first published details of mass surveillance by the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and the US…
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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…