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 vice-president and Editor-in-Chief of RFE/RL (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty) Nenad Pejić has confirmed that the outlet had been considering partnering with Rustavi 2 TV, but that they no longer are. Pejić arrived in Georgia on 8 February and spoke with a number of local NGOs, after several organisations signed an open letter calling for answers. They had been concerned over reports that RFE/RL was pressuring its Georgian service, Radio Tavisupleba, to cooperate with the Rustavi 2. [Read more…]
The head of RFE/RL’s Georgian service, Radio Tavisupleba, has been fired ‘due to a disagreement with the central management’, according to him, with the outlet’s bureau chief reportedly resigning in protest. There have been reports RFE/RL’s central management has been pushing the bureau to affiliate with opposition-leaning TV channel Rustavi 2.
Elchin Ismayilli, a political activist and journalist in Azerbaijan’s Ismayilli District, has been sentenced to nine years in prison for ‘extortion’, ‘bribery’ and ‘abuse of office’. [Read more…]
Baku’s Yasamal District Court released Mehman Aliyev, head of independent news outlet the Turan Information Agency, from pretrial detention on 11 September, placing him under house arrest. The charges against him are still pending.
Baku Court of Appeals rejected an appeal on 30 August by Mehman Aliyev, the head of independent news outlet the Turan Information Agency, for the charges against him to be dropped. Aliyev was arrested last week on charges of ‘tax evasion’ and ‘abuse of power’; rights groups and several Western governments have called for his release. [Read more…]
Elchin Ismayilli, a political activist and journalist in Azerbaijan’s Ismayilli District, who had been charged with extortion and abuse of power in February, faces at least ten years in prison after the prosecutor’s office changed the charge to bribery. The court hearing is set for 24 August. Ismayilli pleads innocent. [Read more…]