Azerbaijan lifts travel ban on journalists
Azerbaijan has reversed its decision to ban journalists from leaving the country while the investigation launched against Meydan TV is still ongoing, the General Prosecutor Office of Grave Crimes Investigation Department stated on 7 May.
The department has also stated that by 11 May no journalists banned from leaving the country in connection with the Meydan TV case will be left.
Since early May the journalists, many of whom are independent reporters based in the capital city of Baku, have been called to the General Prosecutor’s Office and notified about the lifting of their travel ban. On May 7, the travel ban imposed on three journalists, Aytan Farhadova, Tural Asadli and Aytaj Ahmadova was lifted. Ahmadova's computer, which had been confiscated from her house, was also returned.
A day before, on 6 May, other independent journalists Izolda Agayeva, Salima Jalilova, Natig Javadli and writer Rasim Garaca were notified about the lift of their travel ban.
Prior to that, journalist Aynur Ganbarova (Elgunash), had been removed from the travel ban list.
In 2015, after a criminal case was launched against the officials of Meydan TV, the travel ban was imposed on a group of journalists who had cooperated with the media platform.
On 3 May, journalists held a rally in front of the Prosecutor's Office's Grave Crimes Investigation Department. The chief of the department, Eldar Ahmadov, told the journalists that the process to lift the travel bans had already started.
Many international organizations have criticized the authorities for violating the rights of journalists who collaborated with Meydan TV.
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