Accessibility links

Azerbaijan's Proposed NGO Media Curbs Draw Fire

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev

Rights groups in Azerbaijan are warning that proposed restrictions on civil society will further curb democratic freedoms in the former Soviet republic.

Critics say draft amendments, due before parliament on June 30, reflect an increasingly authoritarian style by President Ilham Aliyev whose country is a supplier of oil and gas to the West in the strategically important South Caucasus.

The proposals include banning nongovernmental organisations from receiving more than 50 percent funding from abroad, require NGOs to register with the state, and prohibit activities of foreign NGOs unless based on a "relevant international agreement." A newspaper or other publication found to have published a "biased article" three times within two years risks closure.

Read more about the amendments here.

About This Blog

"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.


Journalists In Trouble

RFE/RL journalists take risks, face threats, and make sacrifices every day in an effort to gather the news. Our "Journalists In Trouble" page recognizes their courage and conviction, and documents the high price that many have paid simply for doing their jobs. More