former member of the parliament faces criminal charges

Gultekin Hajibeyli, the former member of the parliament told Meydan TV she is facing criminal charges over a comment she left on Facebook. According to Meydan TV reporting, Hajibeyli was held at the airport on her return from a work trip to Brussels and was informed she is facing slander charges. Hajibeyli said she was then taken to the Nasimi district police station after two-hour-long questioning at the airport. 

In an interview with Meydan TV, Hajibeyli said, the complaint was filed by a woman named Leyla Arif. “Imagine that I am facing criminal charges over a comment I posted under a post shared by a user named Leyla Arif on Facebook. That post was later deleted. So I am facing criminal charges over a post that no longer exists.”

Arif then posted an explanation on her Facebook saying she was called a “separatist” by Hajibeyli. 

Opposition activist, Instagram account hacked [updated]

May 9, Azerbaijani politician, Gultekin Hajibeyli’s Instagram account hacked and taken down. Instead, a fake profile impersonating Hajibeyli was set up, with her private mobile phone number shared publicly in the profile description. Hajibeyli, was targeted online previously.

Such attacks are common in Azerbaijan, where opposition politicians and independent activists are targeted online. Account “break-ins”, impersonations, blackmailing posts, content takedown requests on YouTube for alleged copyright violations are among some of the popular harassment tactics in practice.

Unlawfully obtained personal information of intimate nature, including photos, videos, and email exchanges are commonly used to target women activists. A most recent example is an online harassment campaign launched against political activist and former political prisoner Ilkin Rustamzade’s wife, Amina Rustamzade. Leaked personal pictures were shared on Facebook and Instagram by various accounts.

On May 12, the account impersonating Hajibeyli was successfully removed from Instagram.

On May 13, a new fake Instagram profile was created.