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Azerbaijani authorities do everything to make Internet unavailable and of low quality

Azerbaijan has intensified the restrictions on the dissemination of independent information through online media, as well as on user access to high speed Internet.

According to Azerbaijani News Agency Turan the above mentioned conclusion has been drawn as a result of the debates that took place at the conference "Electronic rights, perspectives and realities” held in Baku with the support of the government of Canada.
"In reality, the Azerbaijani government has intensified the pressure on active users, journalists with critical mindset and bloggers. It refuses to cooperate with independent local NGOs in the development of online media to meet the international standards,” Emin Huseynov, the head of Institute for Reporter’s Freedom and Safety (IRFS) said.

According to a lawyer of IRFS, Gyunai Ismailov, as a result of the persecutions carried out by the authorities, self-censorship is becoming a major scourge of Internet space of Azerbaijan. It includes journalists and bloggers who are arrested on charges of drug and weapon possession.

The head of satirical website "Sangach” Mehman Guseynov is one of those whom the Special Forces and police of the country have periodically tried to intimidate. He noticed that the pressure occurred either by the attempts of bribery or intimidation.

The article reads that after that after some interval in 2009, when the bloggers Adnan Gajiadze and Emin Milli were arrested, the pressure on bloggers took a new stance in 2013. Rashed Ramazanov, Zaur Gurbanly Ilgar Mamedov , Taufiq Yagublu and many others were arrested. After the interrogation by police Nulfer Suleymanov committed a suicide. That was preceded by legislative toughening of penalties for slander in the Internet. Azerbaijan does everything not to allow Internet in the country to meet International standards and be available.

A lawyer of an International organization IREX Alesker Mammadli noted that in Azerbaijan the rights of users are massively violated as in many places, especially in the provinces people are deprived of their opportunity to use high speed Internet.

Director of Media Rights Institute Rashid Hajili said that in some countries such as the Netherlands and Estonia, the creation of equal conditions for access to the Internet is enshrined in law.

Mammadli offered to include Internet into the list of universal services such as electricity, water, gas and telephone.

"The intensification of restrictions is becoming a trend, which is first of all created by the parliament which banned the use of Smartphones in the building, first for journalists, later for deputies as well. This trend is expanding to other sectors as well,” Hajili noted.
Emil Huseynov confessed that it is becoming more and more difficult to protect the freedom of Internet Space, especially social networks in Azerbaijan.



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