Accessibility links

Breaking News

Watchdog

Blogger Mehman Huseynov

The OSCE representative on freedom of the media has called on authorities in Azerbaijan to stop their crackdown on independent media and rights activists.

Dunja Mijatovic said in a November 10 statement, "Practically all independent media representatives and media NGOs have been purposefully persecuted under various, often unfounded and disturbing charges."

Mijatovic raised the case of Azerbaijani blogger Mehman Huseynov, who was detained at the Baku airport earlier in the day and denied permission to leave his country to attend an international media conference sponsored by the OSCE in Tbilisi, Georgia.

Mijatovic had invited Huseynov to the conference.

Mijatovic also noted that Khadija Ismailova, a journalist for RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service, could not attend the conference due to travel restrictions imposed on her.

The OSCE media freedom representative said, "I repeat my call on the authorities in Azerbaijan to end this hostile attitude against free media."

Viktoria Maladayeva (left), a 25-year-old married mother of one, drew hostile comments from online voters after referring to Putin as "the worst thing to happen with Russia since the 1950s."

An ethnic Buryat woman crowned "Mrs. St. Petersburg" last week says she is surprised by racial taunts she endured after making critical comments about Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Viktoria Maladayeva, a 25-year-old married mother of one, drew hostile comments from online voters after referring to Putin as "the worst thing to happen with Russia since the 1950s."

Critics called Maladayeva a "Russophobe" and an "enemy of the people." One commenter said Maladayeva's hair should be shaved off and "her head put in the toilet."

Maladayeva, a native of Russia's Buryatia region who has lived in St. Petersburg for the past nine years, said she had expected a "negative reaction" to her Asian features but said she was "shocked" by the degree of vitriol.

"I'm horrified by the fact that there's such a poisonous attitude toward people just because they have different political views," she said, adding that Western sanctions and rising prices were among her main concerns.

Load more

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.

Subscribe

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

XS
SM
MD
LG