European Court Brings Suit against Azerbaijan for Blocking News Websites

October 16, 2019

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) is bringing a case against the Azerbaijan government for blocking four independent media organizations’ websites, which have been inaccessible since March 27, 2017. The affected media organizations are Meydan TV, Azadliq, Azerbaycan Saati and Turan TV. The government instituted the blocks with the allegation that they contain prohibited material that calls for “the destruction of public order.” However, journalists and activists consider the move yet another attempt for the government to stymie rights to freedom of expression and access to information.

The European Human Rights Advocacy Centre, which represents the four media organizations in the case brought to the ECHR, notes that “the websites are amongst the only reliable sources of independent information (i.e. not controlled by the Government), and their readership is predominantly in Azerbaijan. The block has therefore had a detrimental effect on the reach of the websites, which…prevents their readers from obtaining independent news on key social, economical and political issues in the country.” Read more about the case and why it is important for human rights in Azerbaijan here.

Region: Eurasia | Topic: Freedom of Expression, Freedom of Information, Independent Media, Rule of Law