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Press freedom under attack in Eurovision host country

There’s growing criticism of the lack of press freedom in Azerbaijan, the Eastern European nation that will be staging the Eurovision Song Festival next month. Journalists who are critical of the president, Ilham Aliyev, are often blackmailed and threatened.  

The Azeri authorities are trying to blackmail one investigative journalist, Khadija Ismael, by released sex videos they had recorded with a camera hidden in her own bedroom. But Ismael refuses to be silenced. She recently visited Brussels to ask the European Commission for support in her battle.
 
In the past two years, two other journalists and a newspaper publisher were also filmed with hidden cameras while they were having sex. That footage was even broadcast on television.  Another journalist was shot in front of his apartment in 2005.  He too was critical of the government of President Ilham Aliyev.  
 
[media:video]

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This article is part of the RNW archive. RNW is the former Radio Netherlands Worldwide or Wereldomroep, which was founded as the Dutch international public broadcaster in 1947. In 2011 Dutch government’s decided to cut funding and shift RNW in 2013 from the ministry of Education, Culture and Science to the ministry of Foreign Affairs. More information about RNW’s current activities can be found at http://www.rnw.org/about-rnw