online news platform hacked, content and followers removed

On September 16, Toplum TV, an online news platform had its Facebook page hacked. The hacker accessed the account by hacking one employee’s personal Facebook profile. As a result, the news platform lost 26k of its followers and two weeks’ worth of shared content.  In an interview with Meydan TV, the platform’s director, journalist Khadija […]

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Activist beaten, Facebook posts removed

Political activist Bakhtiyar Hajiyev was unlawfully detained yet again according to reports by Azerbaijani media. During the interrogation, which lasted six hours, Hajiyev’s Facebook posts in which he criticized the Ministry of the Internal Affairs were removed.  In his own statement, Hajiyev said, he was threatened that less he removed the posts, and stops writing […]

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in Azerbaijan rape survivor continues to face harassment online by the perpetrator

Asgar Agazade was arrested last year following an accusation by a rape survivor. His victim, is an activist, Sanay Yagmur. Agazade has denied the accusation from the start however, seven months into the ongoing investigation and the trial, he is now facing a possible seven-year prison term. In addition, new evidence based on Agazade’s own […]

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Meta’s quarterly adversarial report confirms suspicions of government sponsored targeting

This month, Meta released its pilot quarterly Adversarial Threat Report. Among the countries mentioned in the report, is Azerbaijan where the platform said it has identified “a hybrid network operated by the Ministry of the Internal Affairs.” According to the document, this network relied on, what Meta refers to as, “Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior [CIB]” in […]

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Alert: an uptick in online attacks

In recent weeks AIW has documented an uptick in digital attacks against civil society activists in Azerbaijan. On February 17, AIW reported a targeted wave of attacks on political activist Abulfaz Gurbanli. Although he was able to restore access to his Facebook account, more hacking attempts were documented on February 23. At the time of […]

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Deliberate targeting in pro government media leads to targeted attacks online – the case of Abulfaz Gurbanli [Updated]

It’s been months since an investigation led by an international consortium of journalists and technology experts revealed how Pegasus, a hacking software developed and sold by an Israeli surveillance company, NSO group targeted civil society representatives globally. On the country lists of phone numbers identified to have been targeted with Pegasus were numbers that belonged […]

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In Azerbaijan the parliament is discussing the controversial law on media – the bill already passed its second reading [Updated January 26]

[Update] On December 30, Azerbaijan’s parliament approved a new media law after its third and final reading. The law was passed despite mounting criticism from local journalists and is set to be signed by President Ilham Aliyev and become effective as of January 1, 2022. Hailed by its proponents as a reform bill, critics of the law warn that the […]

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Journalist fined in a midnight trial

On December 18, journalist Sakhavat Mammad, with an online Yenicag.az website, was fined in a midnight trial, on charges of publishing prohibited information on an information resource or information/communication network under the law on Information, Informatisation and Protection of Information. The journalist was charged under Article 388.1.1 of the Code of Administrative Offenses. Mammad, who […]

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Toplum TV Facebook page hacked via SMS interception

On November 3, the founders of Toplum TV, an online news platform, said their Facebook page was hacked. Hackers(s) removed several videos, including one Toplum TV shared yesterday, which was a discussion with an opposition politician Ali Karimli. According to the founders who spoke to AIW, the hacker(s) accessed the page through another founder’s Facebook […]

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In Azerbaijan journalist gets 15 days in prison over a Facebook post

Anar Abdulla was sentenced to 15 days in prison over a Facebook post, according to OC Media reporting. But the charges pressed against the journalist accuse Abdulla of hooliganism and disobeying the police – the most common charges used against civic activists in Azerbaijan. On September 14, Abdulla wrote a short post on his personal […]

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