Azerbaijan: exiled journalist abducted, detained and faces charges

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is supporting its affiliate, the Independent Association of Georgian Journalists (IAGJ), in calling to Georgian Government to take all possible measures to free Azeri journalist Afqan Mukhtarli. He was abducted by special services on May 29 in Tbilisi and secretly taken to Baku prison. The missing of Mukhtarli was reported by his wife Leyla Mustafayeva who, according to Eurasianet, said that her husband last called her on the evening of 29 May just a few blocks away from their home and then did not show up. The next day the Georgian police stated that a search…

Russian blogger extradited to Azerbaijan

UPDATE (07.03.2017): The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) alert submitted on the detention of Alexander Lapshin to Council of Europe platform to promote the protection of journalism and safety of journalists. He is currently located at the Detention Center of the Baku Investigative Prison Nr 1. ——————- Russian blogger Alexander Lapshin, who also holds Ukrainian and Israeli citizenships, was extradited to Azerbaijan, after the Supreme Court in Belarus decided to send him to Baku despite the objections from Moscow. The blogger, who is famous for writing about traveling, was arrested in Minsk in December…

The CoE adopted resolution on attacks against journalists

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on Tuesday discussed the rising levels of violence against journalists, particularly in Turkey, Russia and Azerbaijan. Ukrainian MP Volodymyr Ariev (EPP/CD), pictured above, presented the report, where he drew attention to the death of 16 journalists and the arrest of 150 media employees since January 2015 in member States. Mr. Ariev spoke about the deterioration of media freedom in Turkey and called for “release from detention all journalists who have not been indicted for actively participating in terrorist acts”. He also raised concerns on the media situation in Crimea and eastern parts of Ukraine.…

Azerbaijan: Survey about the social conditions of journalists

The Journalists’ Trade Union of Azerbaijan published a report on social conditions of journalists in the country in 2016. Overall 51 media outlets took part in the survey, among them national newspapers, information agencies, news portals and TV channels. One of the big issues stated in the report was the lack of individual labour contracts in Azerbaijan.  The media companies prefer to sign short-period contracts, in the best cases 60% of employees had labour contracts, whereas 40-45% had no legally binding documents and relied on verbal agreements. The application of health insurance is extremely low (less than 5% ). The…

Azerbaijani journalist Mehman Huseynov detained overnight

UPDATE (13 April, 2017) – Blogger Mehman Huseynov’s appeal was rejected on 12 April by the Baku court of appeals, according to media reports. He was sentenced to two years in prison on defamation charges, because he accused the police of having tortured him following his arrest in January 2017. Huseynov’s lawyer Elchin Sadigov said they will file an appeal to the supreme court. Court of Appeals in Azerbaijan upholds 2 yrs sentence against Mehman Huseynov for defamation: https://t.co/E4ep7Bq1tD — CoE Media Freedom (@CoEMediaFreedom) April 12, 2017 On 9 January 2017, Mehman Huseynov, a blogger and journalist, was detained in…

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…