ARTICLE 19 protests at the Aliyev statue to highlight the imprisonment of journalists and human rights defenders in Azerbaijan

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Antonio Martinez

05 Dec 2012

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ARTICLE 19 protests at the Aliyev statue to highlight the imprisonment of journalists and human rights defenders in Azerbaijan

During the annual global meeting of ARTICLE 19 that took place in Mexico City from 26-30 November, we held a protest on 29 November to highlight the precarious situation of freedom of expression and human rights in Azerbaijan under the government of Ilham Aliyev, where nine journalists and three human rights defenders have been imprisoned for exercising their right to freedom of expression. 

Last month, Azerbaijan hosted the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), which attracted worldwide media attention and durign which ARTICLE 19 and Expresion Online Initiative released a joint report called "Searching for Freedom: Online Expression in Azerbaijan", that unveils how the government censors those who express themselves online. Members of the organisation were asked not to hand in the report to forum attendees.

We consider the Azerbaijani government has shown to have double-standards with regards to freedom of expression, on one hand promoting the participation of international society in the country and on the other violating the fundamental rights of journalists and human rights defenders. We call for the release of prisoners and this protest should be a  reminder to the international community of the vulnerable situation of citizens' rights in Azerbaijan.

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