23 December 2017, 05:40

IRFS accuses Azerbaijani authorities of toughening control over Internet

The Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety (IRFS) has condemned the decisions in the cases against Aziz Orudjev, the executive director of the "Kanal-13" TV Channel, and blogger Mekhman Guseinov. The IRFS has come to the conclusion that overall pressure against the independent media of Azerbaijan is accompanied by tightening of the authorities' control over the Internet.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on December 15, the court sentenced Aziz Orudjev to six years of imprisonment on the charge of illegal entrepreneurial activities and abuse of power. Besides, on December 15, the Baku Court of Appeal (BCA) upheld the verdict to blogger Mekhman Guseinov.

"The Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety condemns the authorities of Azerbaijan for politically motivated judgments to the leading Internet critics in Azerbaijan and demands to immediately release them," the IRFS announced in its statement released on December 22.

Emin Guseinov, the executive director for the IRFS, believes that the court decisions in the cases against Aziz Orudjev and Mekhman Guseinov testify to the strengthening of the authorities' control over the Internet.

"The demonstrative verdicts of guilty pronounced by the courts on the same day to two of the most prominent critics from the online community indicate that the authorities intend to tighten the pressure on the Internet sphere, especially in the run-up to the presidential election of 2018," the IRFS's statement quotes Emin Guseinov as saying.

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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