Journalist Afgan Mukhtarli being taken to court in Baku

Source: Reuters/Aziz Karimov

Caption: Journalist Afgan Mukhtarli being taken to court in Baku

CPJ: Four journalists currently imprisoned in Azerbaijan

The most recent arrest was in May 2020.

A report released by the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) shows that four journalists are currently imprisoned in Azerbaijan. Turkey ranked second on the list, with 37 journalists behind bars, and China once again topped it with 47.

The four Azerbaijani journalists currently imprisoned are Afgan Sadygov, Polat Aslanov, Ikram Rahimov, and Elchin Ismayilli.

Sadygov, chief editor and founder of azel.az, was most recently arrested on 13 May 2020 and found guilty and sentenced to seven years in prison for extortion on 3 November 2020. Sadygov denies the charges.

A similar theme is seen in the cases of the other Azerbaijani journalists in jail, with Aslanov, Rahimov and Ismayilli having been found guilty of high treason, extortion and extortion, respectively.

2020 also marked the release of journalist Afgan Mukhtarli from prison in Baku, who had been kidnapped from Tbilisi and brought to Azerbaijan to stand trial and be imprisoned. Mukhtarli is now in Germany.

Elana Beiser, a spokeswoman for the agency, said governments had arrested a record number of journalists for their work in 2020, compared to previous years, as they curbed civil disobedience and the COVID-19 virus epidemic.

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