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Freedom House condemns the escalating smear campaign against Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty journalist Khadija Ismailova and commends her vow to continue her investigative reporting. In the latest twist in the ongoing intimidation campaign against one of Azerbaijan’s leading investigative journalists, a video containing sensitive content from the journalist’s private life was posted on a website created only days earlier.

The recent intimidation of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty journalist Khadija Ismailova was a striking reminder of the dire state of freedom of expression in Azerbaijan. On March 7, Ismailova received a letter threatening to ‘defame’ her unless she ‘behaved.’

On the seventh anniversary of editor Elmar Huseynov’s murder, the International Partnership Group for Azerbaijan (IPGA) remains deeply concerned regarding the continuing cycle of violence against journalists and impunity for their attackers in Azerbaijan. The IPGA calls for the authorities to bring Elmar Huseynov’s murderers to justice and to seriously investigate and prosecute all cases of violence against journalists.

Freedom House urges Azerbaijani authorities to facilitate peaceful demonstrations and respect citizens’ rights to freedom of expression and association following protests on March 1 in Quba, Azerbaijan, during which seven journalists were injured and more than 50 people arrested.



Director, Europe and Eurasia programs

Marc Behrendt is the Director for Europe and Eurasia programs at Freedom House, with over 20 years of experience working in the Eurasia region in peacebuilding, governance and human rights.


Signature Reports

Special Reports

Promise and Reversal: The Post-Soviet Landscape Twenty Years On

“Promise and Reversal: The Post-Soviet Landscape Twenty Years On,” marks the 20th anniversary of the failed Soviet coup of August 19, 1991. The retrospective essay examines the changes in the political rights and civil liberties in the former Soviet Union over the last two decades, as well as includes graphs and rankings that illustrate the region's performance in the annual Freedom House publications Freedom in the World and Freedom of the Press. The report  concludes that there is a serious and disturbing failure to embrace democratic institutions in most of the post-Soviet region.


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