A rally in Baku. November 2014. Photo by Aziz Karimov for the "Caucasian Knot"

14 November 2016, 13:57

"Freedom House" points to regress of Internet freedom in Azerbaijan

The international human rights organization "Freedom House" has included Azerbaijan in the list of countries with partial freedom of the Internet and pointed to pressure from the authorities and arrests of activists. The above conclusions are based on the information from local experts.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that in its report for the year of 2014, the "Freedom House" also recognized Azerbaijan a country with "partly free Internet."

According to the website of the "Freedom House", the states with up to 30 points are considered as countries which enjoy freedom of the Internet, with 31-60 points as countries with partial freedom of the Internet, and with 61-100 points as countries with no freedom of the Internet.

In 2016, the "Freedom House" assessed the situation in Azerbaijan at 57 points versus 56 points over the past year.

According to the report of the "Freedom House", pressure from the government undermines the opportunities for bloggers and activists to express their criticism on the Internet, and self-censorship is widespread among social networks users who are aware that they can be brought to criminal liability for their posts on the Internet.

It should be noted that two other South-Caucasian countries Georgia and Armenia were listed among the countries with free Internet, with 25 and 30 points, respectively.

The difficulties created by the authorities for financing of civil society projects resulted in closure of a number of online resources, including the "Mediaforum.az", "Obyektiv.TV", and websites of local NGOs and media, receiving foreign aid.

Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.

Author: Faik Medzhid; Source: CK correspondent

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