Ganimat Zahid

Ganimat Zahid, who has already served two years and a half in prison on a ridiculous pretext, knows that freedom is hard-fought. The newspaper he runs, Azadliq (“freedom” in Azeri), is one of the last remaining opposition titles still standing in a ravaged media landscape. Squeezed by fines and deprived of income by the press distribution monopoly, it is struggling to survive. However, the fight itself was not the be-all and end-all for Zahid. In 2012 he undertook to break the wall of censorship that prevailed in Azerbaijan’s broadcast media. With few resources he launched the television program “ Azerbaijan Hour” which is broadcast by satellite for a few hours every week from abroad. The transmission was jammed and kicked off the satellite which first relayed it but, undeterred, Zahid managed to relaunch it. Since then, he has stayed away from Azerbaijan for the time being. The threats that made him decide to take his family out of the country seem unlikely to end soon.

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