26 Sep 2019 Lvl. 2
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Alert created on: 11 Apr 2017 n° 37/2017 Azerbaijan

Opposition and Independent News Websites Blocked

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner Index Article 19 RSF
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Partner Index Article 19 RSF
On 27 March 2017, three websites had their access blocked in Azerbaijan, independent news platform contact.az reported. Meydan TV, Azadliq Qezeti and the local service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty all became inaccessible inside the country. According to independent sources, Azerbaijan Saadi (Azerbaijan Hour) had also been inaccessible for the past week. Azerbaijan Hour is a YouTube video channel, managed by editor-in-chief of opposition newspaper, Azadliq, who is currently living in exile.
Updates
New 26 Sep 2019
On 26 September 2019, the Supreme Court cancelled the decision by the Sabail District Court of Baku to block the online media outlets Azadliq, Radio Azadliq and programmes “Azərbaycan Saatı”, “Turan TV” and “Meydan TV”. The decision to block the news websites will be reconsidered by the Baku Court of Appeal.
15 Aug 2018
On 7-8 August 2018, upon the request of the Ministry for Transportation, Communications and New Technologies, the district courts in Baku ruled to block four news websites, namely az24saat.org, xural.com, arqument.az and monitortv.info.
06 Jun 2018
On 4 June 2018, the Supreme Court of Azerbaijan rejected RFE/RL's appeal against website blockage. RFE/RL announced their intention to take their case to the European Court of Human Rights.
19 Dec 2017
On 19 December 2017, the Baku Court of Appeal upheld the ruling to block access to RFE/RL Azerbaijani service, Azadliq, Meydan TV & 2 other Internet TVs.
15 May 2017
28 Apr 2017
A district court in Baku began on 27 April 2017 hearing a lawsuit that seeks to compel internet service providers to block access to the sites. The lawsuit was filed by the Azerbaijani Ministry of Transport, Communications, and High Technology.
Follow-ups
26 Sep 2017
The CoE Commissioner for Human Rights recalls that any restrictions on access to Internet content should be based on a clear and predictable framework affording guarantee of judicial oversight to prevent possible abuses.
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