Parliament members in Azerbaijan discuss blocking Sputnik [update June 13]

[Update] On June 10, the editor-in-chief of Sputnik Azerbaijan, Antonava-Tryzno Veranika, had her local residency permit revoked according to reporting by Meydan TV. Olegovna, a citizen of Belarus, lived in Azerbaijan together with her husband, Pavel Antonava. The decision was made by the State Migration Service on June 6. The couple was denied their application […]

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political activist kidnapped, facebook post deleted under duress [update April 29]

Bakthiyar Hajiyev is a political activist from Azerbaijan. In February 2020, AIW published this story about threats and intimidation Hajiyev was facing. Despite numerous requests made to the relevant government institutions to investigate, Hajiyev’s complaints remained unanswered. Instead, attacks continued. In September 2021, Hajiyev was reportedly threatened by Baku Police Chief Alekper Ismayilov over a […]

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editor of an online news site detained then released

On April 13, Zahir Amanov, editor of an online news site cenub.az was detained according to Azadliq Radio, Azerbaijan language service for Radio Liberty.  Amanov, 70, is also the founder of the said website which covers regional news in southern Azerbaijan.  According to reporting by Turan News Agency, Amanov was detained on charges of extortion […]

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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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Civil society activist missing in Azerbaijan [Update March 30]

Imran Aliyev, a civil society activist, and founder of meclis.info, a parliament watchdog group, went reportedly missing on March 29, 2022. Aliyev is also a digital security consultant and valuable partner of Azerbaijan Internet Watch. In Azerbaijan, Aliyev has worked with local non-governmental organizations since 2008. He has done numerous digital security workshops with local […]

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New Media Law: implications for online media/journalism in Azerbaijan

In this legal analysis of the recently adopted media bill, AzNet Watch together with an independent human rights lawyer looks at the implications of the new law specifically on online media and journalists in Azerbaijan.  On February 8, 2022, the president of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev approved the new Media Law. The law was adopted by […]

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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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Website fined for not removing comments on social media page

On February 3, the local court fined Azermedia, the founder of the online news platform yeniavaz.az in the total amount of 1500AZN (approximately 880USD). The prosecutor cited the failure of the website management to remove comments posted on the website’s Facebook page according to Azerbaijan service for Radio Liberty.  In court, the prosecutor’s office representative […]

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Several social media users warned, one sentenced to 30 days of administrative detention

A series of new warnings were issued by the Prosecutor General office to social media users in Azerbaijan. In a statement issued by the Prosecutor General’s office, it claims five Azerbaijani citizens received a warning over their social media posts that the prosecutor’s office described as “violating stability, rights, and freedoms and casting a shadow […]

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