Resources providing access to blocked sites in Azerbaijan may be restricted

VPNs may be the next target of the Azerbaijani government.

Some internet resources, such as VPNs, used to access Azerbaijan’s blocked news platforms, Meydan TV being one of them, may be restricted as well.

Recently, the Supreme Court of Azerbaijan made a decision based on the request of the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies to prevent any kind of access to blocked sites in the country.

Meydan TV, Radio Liberty's Azerbaijani Service, newspaper Azadlig, Turan TV and Azerbaijan's Hour are the blocked news platforms in Azerbaijan.

The idea of restricting internet resources that help access to the sites first appeared 2017. However, the Sabail District Court decided only to directly block the five news websites. At the time, the Baku Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court upheld the decision.

Three years later, the Supreme Court has reversed its own decision based on the ministry’s request and sent the case for reconsideration back to the Baku Court of Appeals.

The heads of the blocked websites and their representatives were not informed about the latest decision. Therefore, none of them attended the court meeting, their representatives say.

While the exact resources that could be restricted are unclear, this decision to revisit the topic displays a renewed interest on the side of the Azerbaijani government in restricting and controlling media outlets and the press in the country.

Several blocked sites have appealed to the European Court of Human Rights. Inquiries have already been sent from Strasbourg to the Azerbaijani government on these complaints.

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