Could it be that pop music, traditionally viewed by conservative governments as a scourge, is precipitating a thaw in Azerbaijan? Human rights activists in Baku are hopeful that is the case following the recent release of a prominent independent journalist from prison.
Officials in Azerbaijan want to make the act of spreading “misinformation” a “cyber-crime.” Some Azerbaijani civil rights activists worry that the initiative is driven by a desire to restrict Azerbaijani web users’ access to online information.
No Afghan journalist died in direct connection with his or her professional duties in 2010 while reporting on the Islamic insurgency. On the surface, that is welcome news. But media advocates in Afghanistan say the statistic is also cause for concern.
When Apple’s iPad went on sale recently in Turkey it sold out in less than an hour. The voracious appetite of Turks for web gadgetry seems matched only by the Turkish government’s desire to control access to the Internet.
Officials in Tajikistan have proclaimed a security sweep against alleged Islamic militants in the Rasht Valley to be a success. But authorities at the same time show no signs of relenting in a drive to curtail the ability of independent journalists to gather and disseminate information.
With the November 7 parliamentary vote fast approaching in Azerbaijan, election officials and pro-government media outlets appear to be taking aim at two of the country’s best-known pro-opposition newspapers.
A scandal is brewing in Turkey around judicial proceedings against a group of men accused of murdering Hrant Dink, a prominent Turkish-Armenian journalist. Interior Ministry bureaucrats are being assailed for acting above the law, and the government in general is facing criticism for not doing enough to pursue allegations of official misconduct.