Thursday, February 14, 2013

Azerbaijan: Journalists, Activists and Media Freedom

In Azerbaijan, journalist and activists have been denied human rights such as freedom of speech and opinion. Azerbaijan lack of protection of journalist and activists through social media represents an infringement of human rights. Social media provides a great medium for journalists and activists to voice out opinions and form peaceful assemblies. Unfortunately, Azerbaijan does not protect people from being imprisoned and harmed for expressing their opinions through peaceful assembly, online, or simply in public. This repression of human rights has been recorded by the arrest of many journalists and protesters. Azerbaijan’s covering up the imprisonments with bogus criminal charges only adds to the violation of human rights. Azerbaijan has failed to protect its citizen’s right to speech, opinion, peaceful assembly, and right against arbitrary arrest. Currently, Azerbaijan has hosted two main international events. By hosting these events, I agree with the article that Azerbaijan needs to reevaluate their stance on human rights. As a host of international events, Azerbaijan has to present an example for human rights. Azerbaijan’s lack of human rights protection against journalist and activists sends the wrong message on the protection of human rights as a nation but also the protection of human rights as people. Azerbaijan fails to protect their citizens by allowing citizens to suppress other’s right to speech. By allowing citizen to suppress other’s opinions through physical harm, such as Abbasov’s case stated in the article, Azerbaijan sends a message that it’s alright to violate human rights as a nation and as people. Azerbaijan, a host of international events, needs to remodel their protection of citizen, human rights, and more before hosting any more events. Also, with developing technology, Azerbaijan cannot fall behind and repress opinions through social media and the internet. Azerbaijan’s human rights protection needs to progress with these technological advances in order to protect citizens, such as journalists and activists, and to become a better representative for international events and other states.

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