Azerbaijan celebrated National Press Day on Sunday, marking the 143rd anniversary of the establishment of national press. As the country commemorated the founding of its first newspaper, Akinchi, in 1875, free speech and journalism advocacy groups highlighted Azerbaijan’s poor record in media freedom. [Read more…]
The authorities in Nalchik, the capital of Kabardino-Balkaria, prohibited a protest against amendments to the federal law On Education which were planned across 12 Russian subjects on 17 July. Activists in Nalchik instead held a number of single person protests against the controversial law two days later.
Tbilisi City Court has fined Georgian condom brand AIISA ₾500 for ‘unethical’ condoms packaging designs. AIISA has been instructed to remove the products from sale and to cease all marketing activity for them. The ban concerns packaging designs for three condoms and one promotional poster.
Several thousand people protested in Baku on 10 March, in a rally organised by Azerbaijan’s two largest opposition groups against President Ilham Aliyev. The groups have announced they plan to boycott the presidential elections scheduled for 11 April. [Read more…]
Despite official censorship in the early days of Azerbaijan’s independence, journalists enjoyed more freedom then than they do now. Oligarchic control over the country’s media and fear of prosecution, or even death, mean many journalists now resort to self-censorship.
The director of Armenian news site MediaLab has received death threats on social media, after publishing a satirical cartoon mocking Defence Minister Vigen Sargsyan. [Read more…]
Azerbaijani opposition politician Gozal Bayramli was sentenced to 3 years in prison by an Azerbaijani court on 23 January. Bayramli was detained at the border last May while crossing from Georgia, and charged with attempting to smuggle €12,000 ($13,400) in cash. [Read more…]
Imprisoned Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Sadigov, jailed on charges of aggravated assault, faces additional time in prison on yet unknown charges.
The number of political prisoners in Azerbaijan is among the highest in Europe. This repression serves not only as a tactic of intimidating journalists, activists, and the opposition, but also an instrument of foreign policy. [Read more…]