"First they asked if my parents had any guns or drugs in the apartment, then they showed my picture to my mother and asked her to identify me," Anna Andriyevskaya said. The Crimean journalist, who is living in exile in Kiev, was describing a raid on her parents' home by Russian FSB agents. "Any other mother would have probably suffered a heart attack if police asked them to ID their children," she said.
At least 14 journalists were injured and had their equipment damaged while they were covering a protest in the Armenian capital of Yerevan on June 23, 2015, according to local and international news reports. Several of the journalists were also briefly detained at a local police station, the independent news website Armenia Now reported.
Tomorrow 50 countries are due to take part in the opening ceremony of the inaugural European Games in Baku, but Azerbaijan's most prominent journalist, Khadija Ismayilova, will not be at the celebrations. The award-winning investigative reporter has been in jail since December on retaliatory charges over her writing on corruption.
Dear President Patrick Hickey: I am writing on behalf of the Committee to Protect Journalists, an independent international press freedom organization, to call your attention to the dismal climate for press freedom in Azerbaijan, which is scheduled to host the first-ever European Games on June 12.
New York, February 6, 2015--The Baku Appeals Court today upheld a lower court's decision to extend the pretrial detention of investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova to March 24, according to regional press reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists calls for Ismayilova's immediate release.
New York, December 5, 2014--An Azerbaijani court in Baku today ordered the imprisonment of award-winning investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova for two months pending trial after a local man accused her of urging him to commit suicide, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the ruling and calls on authorities in Azerbaijan to stop their prosecution of Ismayilova, who also faces charges of libel in a separate case.
"We call on Azerbaijani authorities to stop gagging reporters through trumped-up charges and arrests, and immediately release Khadija Ismayilova," said Muzaffar Suleymanov, CPJ's Europe and Central Asia research associate. "The politicized nature of the arrest is obvious--an award-winning reporter is being harassed for her work in Azerbaijan."
New York, August 29, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists strongly condemns the savage beating of Ilgar Nasibov, an independent journalist and human rights defender based in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic (NAR)--a mountainous exclave of Azerbaijan where the practice of journalism is severely restricted.
On Wednesday, Azerbaijan will assume chairmanship of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers. The chairmanship process is automatic; the position is rotated every six months among all of the council's members, in alphabetical order. But Azerbaijan's chairmanship has proven more problematic than most, as it comes at a time when the country's fulfillment of its Council of Europe obligations is at its worst.
New York, February 21, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists is gravely concerned by the official harassment of investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova, who is being criminally investigated in Baku in apparent retaliation for her reporting on government corruption. Ismayilova works for the Azerbaijani service of the U.S.-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
Do you believe the free flow of information must be protected? Sign the #RightToReport petition and demand that President Obama immediately:
1. Issue a presidential policy directive prohibiting the hacking and surveillance of journalists and media organizations.
2. Limit aggressive prosecutions that ensnare journalists and intimidate whistleblowers.
3. Prevent the harassment of journalists at the U.S. border.
Or click here to see the full petition, and join leading journalists like Christiane Amanpour, The Guardian’s Alan Rusbridger, Editor of the AP Kathleen Carroll, and Arianna Huffington in signing on.