12 Dec 2019 Lvl. 2
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Alert created on: 24 Oct 2019 n° 130/2019 Azerbaijan

Journalists Detained and Subjected to Police Violence while Covering Peaceful Protests

Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner RSF Index
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Partner RSF Index
On 19 and 20 October 2019, a number of Azerbaijani journalists were subjected to physical violence by the police and/or detention while covering peaceful protests in Baku. At least seven journalists (Gulnaz Gambarli, Nurlan Gahramanli, Farid Ismayilov, Mehin Kerimi, Abulfat Bakhshali, Vugar Mirzabay, and Fatima Movlamli) were detained while covering the protests on 19 October and released within hours. Blogger Mehman Huseynov was also detained. On 20 October, correspondents of Azadliq Radiosu, Meydan TV, and Turan News Agency (Sevinj Vagifgizi, Ramin Deko, Aziz Kerimov, Salima Jalilova, Parvana Bayramova, and several others) were subjected to physical violence by the police, despite wearing identification vests and showing their press cards. Police also seized and damaged their equipment. The violence and detentions prevented the journalists from covering the protests. Internet blockages and disruption to mobile phone service in central Baku during the protests were also reported.
12 Dec 2019
In her report following her visit to Azerbaijan from 8 to 12 July 2019, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights regrets that no progress has been made regarding the protection of freedom of expression and calls on the authorities to release all those detained because of the views they expressed, notably journalists.
24 Oct 2019
OSCE Media Freedom Representative deplores obstruction of work of journalists in Azerbaijan, calling on authorities to ensure safe working conditions.
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