Azerbaijan denies entry to journalists to cover European Games

Azerbaijan banned a number of journalists from entering the country to report on the European Games.


Sources: Deutsche Welle, The Guardian

Azerbaijan banned a number of journalists from entering the country to report on the European Games,



The Guardian



and other editions report.

One of them is Owen Gibson, a sports reporter at The Guardian. Gibson applied for accreditation in January, when the process opened, according to

The Guardian

. The organizers booked accommodation and flights, according to the British daily.

Gibson traveled to Azerbaijan in December and wrote a story about preparations for the Games, estimating that the country had spent $7.3 billion on the Games. He



reported



on Azerbaijan’s “vicious crackdown on freedom of expression has led to more than 90 arrests on what human rights groups consider to be trumped-up charges.” During his trip, Gibson met dissident reporter Khadija Ismayilova, who was arrested shortly afterward.

On June 5, the Guardian was informed that Gibson’s accreditation was still pending, but on June 11, just a day before the opening of the Games, it was confirmed that the application had been turned down. The Guardian would not be able to enter the country to cover the June 12-28 sports event, according to the British newspaper.

Earlier, German television channel ARD journalist Florian Bauer the visa was also denied entry to Azerbaijan,



Deutsche Welle



reported. Bauer is known for exposing numerous scandals in the sports world. On June 12, the opening day of the European Games, the German Bundestag plans adopt a resolution on the human rights situation in Azerbaijan. According to human rights activists, 98 dissident journalists and activists are currently incarcerated in Azerbaijan.

Activists from Amnesty International and Platform were also prohibited from entering Azerbaijan. Emma Hughes of London-based NGO Platform was detained at Baku airport on June 9, held overnight and told she was on a “red list.” She was deported.

Crackdown on human rights activists, journalists and international rights groups has intensified in Azerbaijan, ruled by Ilham Aliyev since 2003, ahead of the European Games. Reporters without Borders ranked Azerbaijan 162 out of 180, behind Belarus, Egypt and Kazakhstan. The Azerbaijani government is paying for travel and accommodation expenses for more than 6,000 athletes participating in the inaugural European Games.

Ana səhifəNewsAzerbaijan denies entry to journalists to cover European Games