“The predictions by observers that Azerbaijani government will increase repressions against civil society activists and media have proved to be right.
However, international community will not ignore it and demand the Azerbaijani government to stop this pressure” says the report by international human rights organizations defending the rights of photo-reporter Mehman Huseynov, journalist Anar Bayramli and other civil activists.
Freedom House expresses deep concerns over these arrest and pressure against media in its statement. “Azerbaijani government must fulfill its obligations before international community, to comply with Azerbaijani legislation and respect the freedom of expression” said Freedom House member Susan Corke.
Committee to Protect Journalist called upon Azerbaijani government to cancel the criminal case against Mehman Huseynov, and deemed his arrest as the intention to suppress human rights and freedom of media. According to the committee the government has started to hunt down the participants of Sing for Democracy campaign, as well as those, who exposed human rights violations and boycotted Eurovision 2012 song contest.
Attacks against journalists have become more widespread following the relevant call by Ali Hasanov, the head of the ideological department of the presidential administration.
Human Rights Watch organization has stated that the pressure on Mehman Huseynov is the government’s retaliation in return for Sing for Democracy campaign, and the distribution of photo and video materials featuring police violence against opposition in mass media.
Charges against Mehman and other journalists is a chilling message to opposition and civil society activists.
IRFS calls upon international organizations, particularly European Broadcasting Union, to call upon Azerbaijani to refrain from harassment of civil society and opposition activists.