Information hero

Malahat Nasibova

When journalists began interviewing the relatives of a man found dead at the local office of the Ministry of National Security (MNS) in the isolated region of Nakhchivan in August 2011, MNS officers intervened, grabbing at their microphones and cameras. One of the reporters, Malahat Nasibova of the independent news agency Turan, was branded an “enemy of the people.” It was just the start. She received many death threats in the following weeks because of her obstinacy in pursuing the story. Exposed to all kinds of harassment during 15 years of fighting for freedom of information, she has never been deterred. In a region known as “Azerbaijan’s North Korea” for its repression and lack of pluralism, she tackles any subject head-on including corruption, human rights violations, public health issues and electoral fraud. She also pursues all these issues through the Resources Centre for Democracy and NGO Development, which she created in 2002.