This article was originally published by the
Reporters Without Borders, the international organization for the defense of journalists’ rights, ranked Azerbaijan 163
in its World Press Freedom Index, whereas last year the country was in 162
As reported by
, in the 2015 World Press Freedom Index Azerbaijan came in 162
place, in 2014 the country was in 160
, and in 2013 was in 156
“The country took 163
of 180 countries in the 2016 World Press Freedom Index; Azerbaijan has been steadily falling in the ratings since 2004,” reads the statement on the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) site.
According to data from the organization, since 2014 an uncompromising battle has been waged in the country against the few remaining critics of power.
And so, independent media outlets in the country have been either economically smothered or forced to close, and the relatives of independent journalists that continued to work after fleeing abroad are subject to arrest and trial, as a rule on fabricated charges of trading in narcotics, stated RSF.
“The main independent newspapers were repressed; at least eight journalists and bloggers are currently in prison, and dozens of others have fled the country since 2014,” the statement noted.
Representatives of the Azerbaijani government have thus far made no comment about the RSF rating. However, Baku previously officially denied accusations of persecuting citizens for political reasons.
On its website, on the special, thematic page “Преследование активистов” (not available on the English-language version of the site)
sheds light on instances of the persecution of journalists and human rights activists in the regions of the Caucasus. In the “Guide” section is posted the article “Prosecution of human rights defenders and civil society activists in Azerbaijan”.
Reporters Without Borders denounced the sentencing of Zahid’s relatives, Reporters Without Borders called on Azerbaijan to free Faiq Amirov, The Azerbaijani Government promised to uncover all Gulen’s followers in the country.