09 August 2018, 17:58

Azerbaijani courts decide to block four oppositional websites

The Azerbaijani Centre for Electronic Security (CES) has found violations of the law in the activities of four oppositional websites, in particular, libel and insults. Media experts treat these actions as illegitimate.

On August 7, the court decided to block the website "www.az24saat.org", its manager Vugar Gurdganly told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

The APA Agency is closed since August 1. The presidential administration of Azerbaijan has stated that it had attributed an aggressive phrase against Armenia to Ilham Aliev. Experts linked the termination of the agency with the authorities' fear to disrupt the talks over the Karabakh conflict.

"The articles in question have no bias and slander; these are just informative publications," the editor-in-chief of the www.az24saat.org has stated.

Avaz Zeinalov, the editor-in-chief of the website "xural.com", said that his edition had not even received a warning. However, before going to court, he deleted the controversial publications.

In 2013, Avaz Zeinalov was sentenced to nine years in prison, but in December 2014, he was pardoned by the president.

On August 8, the court also decided to block the websites "arqument.az" and "monitortv.info".

Khalid Agaliev, an expert from the Institute of Media Law, considers the actions of the courts to block the websites to be illegal. In his opinion, mass website blocking can become a bad trend leading to an official introduction of censorship.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on August 9, 2018 at 05:21 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Faik Medjid; Source: CK correspondent

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