167 in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index
Azerbaijan has been ranked 167 out of 180 countries in
2021 World Press Freedom Index
, one spot higher than in 2020. However, numerous evidence show Azerbaijan's media situation has consistently been assessed as "very serious" in the past years and shown almost no improvement.
“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 […] were quickly dashed”, the report states, referring to the hopes of major reforms emerged in late 2019 after the dismissal of presidential adviser Ali Hasanov, who was considered the chief censor of the local media.
Repression of journalists has reinforced especially during the war in Nagorno-Karabakh. According to RSF, at least seven reporters were injured and it was much harder to get accreditation for foreign reporters. Their freedom of movement was limited, as well.
Reporters without Borders has published its yearly ranking of press freedom across the world since 2002. Countries' press situations are judged to be good, satisfactory, with noticeable problems, difficult, or very serious.