Azerbaijani journalist Mehman Huseynov detained overnight

On 9 January 2017, Mehman Huseynov, a blogger and journalist, was detained in Central Baku (Azerbaijan) by plain clothed police officers and held incommunicado overnight, allegedly for the violation of administrative rules. Mehman has reported that while in police custody, police placed a sack over his head and used force against him. On 10 January, he was taken to Nasimi District Court, where he was tried on charges of disobeying the police (Article 535.1 of the Code of Administrative Offences), which carries a sentence of up to 30 days in jail. According to the EFJ affiliate in Azerbaijan, the Journalists’…

Azerbaijan: EFJ/IFJ denounce “politically motivated” dismissal

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ/IFJ) today condemned the “politically motivated” dismissal of an Azeri journalist working for APA Holding Media Organisation on 12 September. Journalist Gasimov Farahim Ilqar posted a photo on Facebook showing the success of a rally organized recently by the National Council of Democratic Forces, an umbrella organisation uniting part of the country’s opposition forces, and which had been sanctioned by the government. The demonstrators were protesting in the frame of an upcoming referendum that would give Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev greater powers and a longer term in office, media reported. The journalist told that…

Azerbaijan: Journalist Khadija Ismayilova released on probation

The International and European Federations of Journalists welcome the Azerbaijani Supreme Court’s decision today to release investigative reporter Khadija Ismayilova, who had been imprisoned on trumped-up charges since December 2014. The court converted Ismayilova’s jail term into a three-and-a half-year suspended term. Khadija Ismayilova has already served 1.5 years in prison, held on politically motivated charges for her work exposing corruption. She now faces 3.5 years on probation, and a two-year ban on professional activities. In September 2015, the Baku Court of Serious Crimes sentenced Ismayilova to seven-and-a-half years in prison on tax evasion and large-scale embezzlement charges. The IFJ…

Azerbaijan: prominent journalist released following a suspended sentence

Prominent Azeri journalist Rauf Mirkadyrov has today been released following a suspended sentence of five years handed down by the appeals court in the capital, Baku. The International and the European Federations of Journalists, (IFJ) and (EFJ), while welcoming this development, insist on the full acquittal of the journalist, who has been in jail since April 2014 and accused of high treason for spying for Armenia. The political correspondent in Turkey for the independent Russian-language newspaper Zerkalo (Mirror), Rauf Mirkadyrov, has today received a suspended sentence of five years after the court threw out the initial six-year jail conviction, his…

16 journalists and media staff killed in Europe in 2015

2015 has been another deadly year for journalists, with at least 109 journalists and media staff killed in targeted killings, bomb attacks and cross-fire incidents, according to the annual report published today by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ). The IFJ 2015 list names the 109 journalists and media staff killed across 30 countries, together with 3 who died of accidental deaths. It marks a small drop from last year when 118 killings and 17 accidents were recorded. In Europe, 16 journalists and media staff were killed in 2015: 11 in France, 2 in Ukraine, 1 in Azerbaijan, 1 in…

41 journalists will spend New Year’s Eve in prison in Europe

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) strongly calls for release of imprisoned journalists in Europe. Following the reports from the national affiliates of the EFJ, 44 journalists will spend New Year’s Eve in prison in Europe: 30 in Turkey, 10 in Azerbaijan and one in Russia. With their affiliates in Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Russia, the EFJ and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) are following closely the cases of imprisoned journalists in Europe. All of them are in prison just for having done their job. Together with the Helsinki Commission, the EFJ calls on again the authorities of Turkey, Azerbaijan and Russia to…

39 journalists will spend New Year’s Eve in prison in Europe

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) strongly calls for release of imprisoned journalists in Europe. Following the reports from the national affiliates of the EFJ, 39 journalists will spend New Year’s Eve in prison in Europe: 30 in Turkey, 8 in Azerbaijan and one in Russia. With their affiliates in Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Russia, the EFJ and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) are following closely the cases of imprisoned journalists in Europe. All of them are in prison just for having done their job. Together with the Helsinki Commission, the EFJ calls on again the authorities of Turkey, Azerbaijan and Russia to…

Azerbaijan sentences journalist Khadija Ismayilova to 7.5-year imprisonment

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) have today condemned the sentencing of Azerbaijani journalist Khadija Ismayilova to 7.5 years in jail in the capital, Baku, in a case said to be retaliation for exposing state corruption. On 1 September, the Baku Court of Grave Crimes convicted Ismayilova, the award-winning investigative journalist at a closed trial on charges of libel, tax evasion, illegal business activity and abuse of power. Prosecutors had asked the court to sentence the reporter to nine years. “We strongly condemn the outrageous sentence handed down to Khadija Ismayilova,” said IFJ…

IFJ and EFJ reject the Prosecutor’s 9 years imprisonment request against Khadija Ismayilova

Update (01/09/2015): Khadija Ismayilova has been sentenced today by Baku Court to 7,5 years in prison. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its European organisation, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), together with ARTICLE 19 and the Association of European Journalists (AEJ), have urged the Azerbaijani authorities to reject the Prosecutor’s request made today against the investigative journalist Khadija Ismaylova and to immediately free her. Ismayilova’s trial began in capital Baku on 7th August and has been adjourned until Wednesday 26th August, when the verdict is likely to be delivered. Following the request, the four media organisations have together submitted…

IFJ and EFJ launch digital safety tips ahead of Baku Games

As Azerbaijan’s capital Baku is getting prepared for the first European Olympic Games to be set on 12-28 June, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) publish a set of safety guidelines to support journalists reporting on the ground.   “We are concerned that journalists may be subject to surveillance by the Azeri security services if they trespass the limits and boundaries fixed by their official accreditation to cover other issues than the Baku 2015 European Games,” said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. “These guidelines will provide journalists on the ground with basic tips to…

Digital safety tips for journalists covering the Baku 2015 European Games

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) have warned that journalists covering the Baku 2015 European Games may be subject to surveillance by the Azeri security services if they trespass the limits and boundaries fixed by their official accreditation to cover other issues than the Baku 2015 European Games. Alan Pearce, a journalist and author specialising in cyber-security and counter-surveillance, provides some top tips and spy-proof measures on how to keep your activities to yourself.   BEFORE YOU GO Clear out all your devices, removing personal details and contacts, and replace the SD card…

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