Azerbaijan: Seeking to Arrest Critical Journalists throughout the Ex-USSR

The arrest of an Azerbaijani journalist in Ukraine marks a fresh instance of free-media-wary Azerbaijan having a critical reporter apprehended outside its borders.

Fikret Huseynli, who survived a beating and stabbing in his native Azerbaijan a decade ago, was arrested on October 14 at Boryspil International Airport in Kyiv as he was about to board a fight to Dusseldorf. He managed to alert his friends about his situation via Facebook before Ukrainian police took him into custody. A local court must still consider Azerbaijan’s extradition request, Ukrainian rights activists report.

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“They demanded that I say that I was an Armenian spy”

Journalist Ilgar Valiyev, who currently lives outside Azerbaijan, says that he was tortured military servicemen.

The journalist says that the incident took place in March 2017. In a statement released on 4 October, Valiyev calls on the relevant agencies to conduct an investigation. Elchin Sadigov, the journalist’s defense lawyer, has circulated the full text of the statement.

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How the Azerbaijani government controls the Internet

Control of the Internet, “bugging” traffic and checking social networks is not news. The government in Azerbaijan has been doing this and doing it all the time. There is only one Internet provider in the country, through which communication with the outside world is carried out. In this situation, it’s very easy to control your people.

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Aliyev Family Plunders Azerbaijan’s Oil Revenue

The government of Azerbaijan allocates its multi-billion dollar oil and gas revenue in four ways: 1) Bribery; 2) Theft by Pres. Aliyev’s family and his cronies; 3) Military purchases; and 4) Other budgetary matters. No wonder the majority of the people in Azerbaijan live in abject poverty, despite the billions of petrodollars earned by Aliyev’s autocracy.

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This tyrant’s reach knows no borders

JUST PAST 7 p.m. on May 29 in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, an independent journalist, Afgan Mukhtarli, called his wife from a cafe to say he was coming home. She asked him to buy bread, according to a friend of the journalist who was at the cafe. The friend departed, but Mr. Mukhtarli never made it home. A day later, his wife discovered he was in neighboring Azerbaijan, in jail. Fearing persecution as a journalist, Mr. Mukhtarli had fled Azerbaijan two years earlier. In a brazen example of a police state reaching beyond its borders, Azerbaijan apparently dragged him back.

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