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Right of privacy

November 29, 2013

“Interference into a Person’s life shall not be authorized.” Azerbaijan constitution, Article 32.2 Every citizen of Azerbaijan Republic is granted the right on Personal Immunity. According to Azerbaijan Constitution any interference on privacy is penalized. Though the law is rarely protected in the country. Article 32.2

Journalists are often accused in invading others private life and publicizing citizens sacred secrets. While journalists’ private lives are repeatedly revealed by unknown individuals.

Khadija Ismayilova is Azerbaijani investigative journalist and a host of Radio Liberty Azerbaijan bureau. She has begun writing series of investigative articles since 2010, disclosing corruption where the family of Azerbaijan President was involved. In the beginning of March 2012 Ismayilova got numerous anonymous messages with threats to humiliate her publicly. Ismayilova held press conference two days before the confrontational material was released. She stated that no threats would make her give up her investigations.

On 13th March MUSAVAT.TV website published the video capturing Ismayilova during her sexual intercourse with her boyfriend. The address of the website had the same name as the main opposition party in Azerbaijan – MUSAVAT. Later party representatives had to explain that website didn’t belong to them. The web page was created a few days before video was broadcasted.

A secret camera installed in Ismayilova’s bedroom was revealed only after the video was published. The person who installed the camera has not been yet identified. Ismayilova blamed the government and the President’s Administration for ordering smear actions against her in order to stop her investigations.

On 2 August 2013 a group of journalists organized a silent walking protest to support Ismayilova.

Institute of Reporters Freedom and Safety (IRFS) in Azerbaijan demanded concrete actions from the government in March 2012. IRFS insisted people blackmailing Ismayilova had to be prosecuted. In the report – “Right to remain silent” IRFS claims that all the investigations concerning blackmailing Azerbaijani journalists have failed as there is not any serious result.

International human rights organizations: ARTICLE 19, Civil Rights Defenders, Human Rights House Foundation, Human Rights Watch, International Media Support, Media Diversity Institute, PEN International, Reporters Without Borders signed joint statement to Azerbaijani President and the General Attorney to speed the investigation process.

“We urge you to take immediate steps to ensure a prompt, thorough, effective and transparent investigation into the threats made against her, as well as ensuring the effectiveness of the current investigation into the violation of her right to privacy,” – says the statement.

(For full letter visit: http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/08/20/joint-letter-azerbaijan-government-concerning-harassment-and-intimidation-investigat)

On April 25, General Attorney of Azerbaijan Recublic responded to the critical statements claiming investigation is still undergoing.
Director of Azerbaijan Press Council (APC) Aflatun Amashov (link the interview: a in his interview to Yeni Musavat newspaper) assessed the case as a pressure on media.

“Our main intention is to create normal conditions for journalists. Khadija Ismailova case is a very serious issue and needs to be explored. These cases affect not only one journalist but influence other’s professional performance,” – said Amashov during his interview with Yeni Musavat.

“It is absurd to think that Azerbiajani government is responsible for this case. Government helps media organizations; liquidates their debts and creates any opportunity for them to broaden their activities,” said Bahar Muradova a deputy in Azerbaijan parliament and representative of managerial staff of ruling New Azerbaijan Party. (mediaforum.az)

In 2010 Azerbaijani LIDER TV aired video capturing Azer Ahmadov during sexual intercourse. Ahmadov is the director of opposition newspaper “Azadliq” (“Freedom”). The video spread in Facebook and other social networks.

LIDER TV broadcasting the video in daytime, during 17:00 hour newscast. The shoots identified both persons’ faces. Discussions about ethical journalism and violating personal immunity were initiated in various groups of society and in social media.
After the video was released Azer Ahmedov quit his job and left Azerbaijan.

Emin Mammadov was second to leave his job. Mammadov dubbed the videos for Lider TV newscast program confronting Ahmadov. In his interview with BBC Mammadov said he didn’t want to participate in the actions, which deliberately damaged someone’s dignity. (modern.az)

A year after Azadliq newspaper reporters Natiq Adilov and Tural Jafarov were also blackmailed.
Journalist and Media expert Seymur Kazimov says according to the international conventions, which Azerbaijan has also joined. The state and the court guarantee people with the right on privacy. Though the court has never passed the sentence on these charges yet.
Seymur Kazimov: “Khadija Ismayilova applied to court years ago, though people responsible for the blame are still not identified.”

Gunay Ismayilova a lawer at Institute for Reporters Freedom and Safety says the government knows how to discriminate people.

“First time they attacked editor of the AZADLIQ newspaper in 2007. The campaign was so effective the government did the same with Natig Adilov and Tural Jafarov.”

Ganimat Zahid, editor-in-chief of AZADLIQ was arrested in November of 2007 on charges of hooliganism and exerting intentional harm to the victim.

According to radio Liberty information of 11.11.2007 year in front of Azerbaijan Publishing house a woman approached him and suddenly accused him in insulting her dignity.

This incident resulted in a

Gunay Ismayilova says journalists who criticize the government are experiencing strong pressure.

According to Media Law Institution of Azerbaijan in 2012 35 journalists were blackmailed and more than 45 were threatened. No one has been prosecuted for these crimes yet.

By http://newscafe.ge

by Ahmedova Vusale

 

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