A new report, Repression Beyond Borders: Exiled Azerbaijanis in Georgia, documents how Azerbaijani journalists and activists have been abducted and harassed by the Azerbaijani government even while living abroad.
In 2014, the government of Azerbaijan initiated an unprecedented crackdown against journalists, opposition politicians, religious activists, and members of civil society. More than 120 individuals are imprisoned on politically motivated grounds and others were forced to flee Azerbaijan. Many of those who fled the persecution went to nearby Georgia where they presumed they would be free from harassment. But earlier this year, Azerbaijani journalist Afghan Muhktarli’s abduction, and his unlawful transfer to Azerbaijan, marked a turning point in how far authorities are willing to go to counter media freedom.
Muhktarli’s case is not isolated and exemplifies how the Azerbaijani government targets dissidents living abroad. These events have many implications for the security of human rights defenders and international cooperation that may stifle civil society.
Join us for the Washington, D.C., launch of Repression Beyond Borders on September 29. Representatives of the Meydan TV, Freedom Now, International Partnership for Human Rights, Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center, and the Open Society Foundations will discuss the report’s findings and recommendations.
- Emin Milli is a former Azerbaijani political prisoner and the director of Meydan TV in Berlin.
- Maran Turner is the executive director of Freedom Now in Washington, D.C.
- Arzu Geybulla is a program officer at the International Partnership for Human Rights in Brussels.
- Tamta Mikeladze is civil and political rights program director of the Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center in Tbilisi (via video).
- Alex Johnson (moderator) is a senior policy advisor for Europe and Eurasia at the Open Society Foundations.
To RSVP for this event, please contact [email protected].