Posts Tagged ‘Eynulla Fatullayev’

Azerbaijan: press freedom under threat say Civil Rights Defenders

February 20, 2013

On 17 February 2013 I wrote about the case of Eynulla Fatullayev, editor of the website, a former AI prisoner of conscience and winner of press freedom awards (see also quote at the end of this post) who seems to have taken a more apologetic stand with regard to violations in his home country Azerbaijan. Just a few days before – 11 February – the NGO Civil Rights Defenders had published a piece under the title:  ‘New crackdown on human rights activities in Azerbaijan’. There seems to be no stand taken by Fatullayev (at least not in English).

Photo: Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety (IRFS)

Avaz Zeynalli, chief editor of Khural newspaper, charged for tax evasion and corruption.

The Azeri government is putting new pressure on the country’s already repressed civil society. NGOs that receive even minor funds can be severely punished, according to a new draft law. The draft follows a series of repressions of media workers and civil activists. According to the proposed amendments NGOs receiving donation over the equivalent of 190 euro without a proper agreement, face up to 3500 euro and confiscation of property. This increases the authorities’ control over NGOs. The violations have grown in the beginning of 2013. Media workers that have been covering demonstrations and riots have been arrested, questions and in some cases beaten. At the same time the homes of journalists and civil activists have been searched, detained, subjected to gas attacks, put under surveillance and in other ways obstructed in their work. Read the rest of this entry »

‘Western’ human rights defenders accused of double standards by controversial Azeri journalist

February 16, 2013

On 15 February 2013 (an Azeri news agency) distributed under the title “Western human rights defenders’ silence shows double standards” a bit of a rambling attack on western-based international organizations and human rights defenders for using double standards by being quickly critical of repression of journalists in the ‘new democracies’ such as Azerbaijan and being silent with regard to similar repression in western Europe.

112464The 15 February piece is mostly based on an interview with Eynulla Fatullayev, editor of the website, who stated that the case of journalists from News of the World is a high-profile case, and certainly should be considered in the plane of restrictions on the rights of journalists to work freely. What the article does not state is that on 22 January of this year Amnesty International has announced the termination of its collaboration with Eynulla Fatullayev, a former prisoner of conscience, and head of the Public Association for Human Rights in Azerbaijan.  Amnesty International believes that Fatullayev, and in particular, his site, is used by the Government of Azerbaijan to discredit European criticism of human rights violations in Azerbaijan. In 2011 Amnesty International had issued a “mass tweet” on Fatullayev’s behalf; Fatullayev attributed his release inter alia to the work of Amnesty International activists.

In the interview Eynulla Fatullayev states among others the following: I am more than sure that if a similar event occurred in Azerbaijan or in another state, located in the zone of the new democracies, it would be followed by statements by most international organizations condemning the policy of the authorities to the persecution of media. Why in the case of the United Kingdom or other EU countries, all these organizations remain strangely silent?”  Read the rest of this entry »