Eastern Europe, Caucasus, Central Asia - IFEX Member Campaigns
Against the backdrop of the unprecedented crackdown on civil society, Khadija Ismayilova’s arrest on criminal defamation charges seems imminent and would confirm the authorities’ intent to silence all critical voices in the country.
Civil society groups call for an end to repression of IFEX member the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety, and urge UNESCO to take action to ensure free expression in Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan has been providing leadership in the Council of Europe since last month, promoting and protecting human rights standards in Europe and beyond. In the meantime, back home, arbitrary arrest, torture and unfair trials are widespread.
In the lead-up to the Council's chairmanship, there has been a rise in harassment of civil society organisations (CSOs) in Azerbaijan. Official intimidation tactics have included the levying of heavy fines on CSOs for petty administrative lapses and the denial of permission to civil society groups to hold meetings in public spaces.
Azerbaijan's human rights record is inconsistent with standards embraced by the pan-European human rights organisation, the Council of Europe, and so its chairmanship, which will start in May, risks undermining the integrity of the institution's human rights principles.
Azerbaijan should promptly revise its libel laws to meet international standards for freedom of expression and the media, the Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety (IRFS) and Media Rights Institute (MRI) said on 12 March 2014.
The International Partnership Mission on Safety and Protection of Journalists and Press Freedom in Ukraine, respectfully reminds the Ukraine government that it is the duty of the state to protect all citizens, including journalists, and to ensure that journalists and media organizations can carry out their duties without fear of violence or harassment.
In a joint statement, representatives from 33 non-governmental organisations call on the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to urge Azerbaijan to repeal restrictive legislation that runs counter to Azerbaijan’s obligations to the Council of Europe with respect to freedom of expression, association, and assembly.
A Turkish court has thrown out Irfan Sancı's acquittal appeal in a case against his having published Guillaume Apollinaire’s 1911 novel, Les Exploits d’un jeune Don Juan
. Prosecution has merely been suspended for three years, meaning the publisher must live under constant threat of imprisonment.
IFEX members are calling on the president of Romania to veto proposed changes to the penal code passed by Parliament that would recriminalise insult and libel.
On 10 December 2013, the Romanian Parliament recriminalised libel and insult without any public consultation. Press freedom groups are calling on President Traian Basescu to abstain from promulgating the new law.
IFEX members strongly condemn recent attacks on journalists during public demonstrations in Kyiv and call for those responsible to be held accountable.
President Ilham Aliyev’s re-election by an overwhelming majority on 10 October 2013 has been followed by new crackdown on the media. Azadliq
is now in danger of succumbing to efforts to throttle it financially.
Twenty-two human rights organisations and press freedom campaigners warn that Azerbaijan's presidential election on 9 October may not be credible, as journalists and activists are routinely persecuted for criticising the government.
The International Partnership Group for Azerbaijan strongly condemns a series of repressive legislative amendments that Azerbaijan’s National Assembly adopted on 14 May 2013. The existing penalties for criminal defamation and insult have been extended to online content and public demonstrations.
Two dozen IFEX members call on Turkey to free prominent translator and women’s rights activist Ayşe Berktay, winner of the 2013 PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award.
The member states of the United Nations should hold Azerbaijan to account during its Universal Periodic Review on 30 April 2013 for its failure to protect basic human rights, says the International Partnership Group on Azerbaijan.
NGOs in Russia have been subjected to inspections apparently aimed at determining whether they comply with legislation. The Civic Solidarity Platform appeals to the international community to speak out against the new attempt to intimidate these groups.
The International Partnership Group for Azerbaijan, along with local NGOs, condemn the persecution of nine journalists, protesters and human rights defenders for exercising their right to freedom of expression and information in Azerbaijan in recent weeks.
Following the arrest of over 70 peaceful demonstrators in Ismayilli, a partnership group is calling on the international community to hold Azerbaijan to the commitments it has taken before the Council of Europe and the UN to uphold freedom of expression.