Safeguarding freedom of information
IRFS believes that one of the most effective strategies is providing local citizens and the international community with access to information. By expanding conventional understanding about the role of the media in Azerbaijan, we are increasing expectations, thereby creating a culture where the public demands freedom of press, with full and balanced news coverage.
• Promoting internet freedom
Through Expression Online Initiative, IRFS works to develop best practices and promote informed public dialogue for advancing Internet access and freedom in Azerbaijan. The final goal is to broaden diversity of available information empowering citizens in acting as a potent weapon against lack of democracy and transparency.
Expression Online is working in three main directions:
• Advanced on-going research exploring internet accessibility, access to information and implementation of e-governance and freedom of expression on the internet in a rigorous, objective manner; investigating the consequences of current and anticipated government’s “trends” in filtering and restriction practices, and their implications for democracy and transparency.
• Development and deployment of a suite of core recommendations/tools for the guarantee of freedom and accessibility on/of the internet; and
• Capacity-building among networks of local advocates and researchers, enabled to access more readily (through training and resources) the vast repertoire of experiences and expertise in promotion of free internet practices
Make sure you read Expression Online’s recent report: Searching for Freedom: Online Expression in Azerbaijan on the state of Internet Freedom.
In November 2012, IRFS released its groundbreaking new report, The Right to Remain Silent. Less than a year left until the next presidential election in Azerbaijan, IRFS developed this report to highlight its concerns regarding violations of the rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association in the country.
In the report, IRFS concludes that the Azerbaijani authorities have taken steps to curtail all three fundamental freedoms in recent years, and particularly in connection with two major international events being held in Baku in 2012: the Eurovision Song Contest in May, and the Internet Governance Forum in November. The report explores topics such as violence against journalists, detention of media workers and human rights defenders, and state control of the media.
For more information about youth programs, please contact info (at) irfs.org