In the village of Mursequlu, located in the Nefchala administrative district of Azerbaijan, a 16-year-old girl suffering from an intellectual disability is facing sexual abuse. According to activist Vafa Nagi, who shared the story of the girl on Facebook, the abuse has been ongoing at least since 2018, under the supervision of the girl’s mother.

According to Nagi, the district police have been involved in the abuse, working with the mother and having installed cameras in the house. The men, who visit the girl, are registered by the girl’s mother who then shares the list with the local police officer…

The story was originally published here.

The website of exile Azerbaijani news site MeydanTV, which was blocked earlier this year. It has been a busy month for the Cyber Security Service at Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Transport, Communication and High Technologies.

Since early August, the service has targeted a number of independent news websites — first requesting them to remove specific content, and later blocking access to these websites altogether. The blocking came after the websites featured articles on the corrupt practices of certain government officials, other stories merely reported on local grievances. Editors and journalists have been summoned to the…

The story was originally published here.

Mehman Huseynov. Source: Facebook.

This January, five political prisoners in Azerbaijan, in an unprecedented act of solidarity, released a letter in support of jailed blogger Mehman Huseynov. The five signatories of the letter, released on the 13th, are Ilkin Rustamzade (activist, sentenced to eight years in May 2014), Giyas Ibrahim (activist, sentenced to ten years in December 2016), Bayram Mammadov (activist, sentenced to ten years in December 2016), Elchin Ismayilli (journalist, sentenced to nine years in September 2017) and Ahsan Nuruzade (religious activist, sentenced to seven years in March 2018). …

The story was originally published here.

On August 4, the Ankara Criminal Court of Peace an order to withhold access to four Twitter accounts in Turkey . The order affects the accounts of Oya Ersoy, member of the left-wing HDP party (People’s Democratic Party) ; Turkish music band Grup Yorum, and two accounts related to the Gezi Park protest movement; Taksim Gezi Parki and Gezi Savunmasi.

Ersoy, whose account is certified, is a lawyer and politician. In 2018 she was elected as a parliament member representing the opposition People’s Democratic Party (HDP).

Grup Yorum is a veteran Turkish folk band known for their political songs since…

2016 was no easy year for Turkey. While the authorities continued pressing down on freedoms, a failed military putsch had Ankara introduce state of emergency, that has now been extended until summer of 2017. The state of emergency “gives the president and government the power to rule by decree, bypassing parliament and the potential to challenge decrees via Turkey’s Constitutional Court”.

While some have seen state of emergency as a means to tackle down on potential threats to the government, others have viewed it as a tool in the hands of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to crackdown…

Arzu Geybulla

Azerbaijan/Turkey; authoritarian tech; information controls; safety of female journalists online; freedom of expression. All views my own.

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