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Azerbaijan: Court Upholds the Blocking of Independent Media Outlets

A still from Meydan TV’s footage of youth activist Qiyas Ibrahimov being escorted out of court where he stood trial for spray-painting anti-government slogans. Ibrahimov was sentenced to 10 year in jail, and Meydan TV’s website was blocked in Azerbaijan as part of authorities’ intensifying efforts to suppress dissent and control the flow of information.

Amid signs of a deepening economic crisis in Azerbaijan, authorities in Baku appear to be intensifying efforts to control the flow of information.
 
On May 12, an Azerbaijani court ruled in favor of the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Technology, which took action recently to block a number of independent media outlets on the grounds they were inciting unrest and seeking to undermine the government. Among the outlets targeted were Meydan TV and RFE/RL’s Azeri-language service.
 
Lots of questions surround the legitimacy of the court ruling. The government’s paperwork was messy, as apparent attempts to backdate documents resulted in the state “filing” complaints to the court days before offending articles were even written. The lawsuit itself was filed by what is ostensibly a unit dedicated to fighting malware and viruses.
 

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Azerbaijan: Court Upholds the Blocking of Independent Media Outlets

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