Azerbaijani parliament curtails Internet freedom with new defamation law

By bne IntelliNews November 30, 2016

The Azerbaijani parliament approved a series of amendments to the criminal code on November 29 criminalising defamation on the Internet, Turan news agency reported. Specifically, the amendments stipulate that insulting the “honour and dignity” of the president using fake accounts and profiles online is punishable with fines ranging from AZN1,000 (€539) to AZN1,500 or with imprisonment of up to three years.

The changes come as Azerbaijani authorities have received increased criticism over their crackdown on human rights. The threat of losing its membership in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) forced Baku to ease its barriers to funding of non-governmental organisations.

While the media in Azerbaijan is heavily censored, the Internet had so far been relatively free, with access granted to publications and social media accounts that were critical of or parodied the establishment. However, that appears to be gradually changing, as the government has blocked the websites of Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) and Voice of America, two US-funded publications that have criticised the government.

The government is allegedly also using the media ban to block the dissemination of criticism over its recent increase of gas and electricity tariffs, Turan news agency wrote.  

Related Articles

Baku criminal prosecutors pursue MEPs that observed Nagorno-Karabakh referendum

The Azerbaijani prosecutor general has launched criminal proceedings against three Europarlamentarians who monitored ... more

Azerbaijani president fires powerful transport minister Ziya Mammadov

In a two-line presidential decree issued on February 13, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev announced that a new ministry - that of transport, telecommunications and high technology - ... more

Azerbaijanis rush to convert dollars into manats after burst of appreciation

The unexpected appreciation of the Azerbaijani manat in February has sent banks into a dollar-selling frenzy, sources in Baku have informed bne IntelliNews. In the past week, the manat has ... more

Register here to continue reading this article and 2 more for free or purchase 12 months full website access including the bne Magazine for just $119/year.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address.
A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

To continue viewing our content you need to complete the registration process.

Please look for an email that was sent to with the subject line "Confirmation bne IntelliNews access". This email will have instructions on how to complete registration process. Please check in your "Junk" folder in case this communication was misdirected in your email system.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and magazine

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and monthly magazine, the leading source of business, economic and financial news and commentary in emerging markets.

Your subscription includes:
  • Full access to the bne content daily news and features on the website
  • Newsletters direct to your mailbox
  • Print and digital subscription to the monthly bne magazine
  • Digital subscription to the weekly bne newspaper

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

bne IntelliNews
$119 per year

All prices are in US dollars net of applicable taxes.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Register for free to read bne IntelliNews Magazine. You'll receive a free digital subscription.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address.
A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

IntelliNews Pro offers daily news updates delivered to your inbox and in-depth data reports.
Get the emerging markets newswire that financial professionals trust.

"No day starts for my team without IntelliNews Pro" — UBS

Thank-you for requesting an IntelliNews Pro trial. Our team will be in contact with you shortly.

Dismiss