Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan

Hope quickly dashed

Not content with crushing all forms of pluralism, President Ilham Aliyev has been waging a relentless war against his remaining critics since 2014. Independent journalists and bloggers are jailed on absurd grounds if they do not first yield to harassment, blackmail or bribes. In a bid to silence journalists who continue to resist in exile, the authorities harass their family members still in Azerbaijan. The main independent news websites are blocked. The hopes raised by the announcement of major reforms in late 2019 were quickly dashed. The post-election crackdown, the coronavirus crisis and then the war in Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory disputed with neighbouring Armenia, in the autumn of 2020 all contributed to an increase in censorship and a worsening of the situation for journalists. At least seven reporters were injured in the field and others only narrowly escaped being hit by military shelling. Foreign reporters found it harder to get accreditation and, once on the ground, many were unable to work freely. As long as the media are unable to operate safely and their economic independence is not assured, the president’s statements will not inspire confidence.

167
in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index

Ranking

+1

168 in 2020

Global score

+0.29

58.48 in 2020

  • 0
    journalists killed in 2021
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2021
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2021
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