Name: Azerbaijan's parliament limits free speech

Date:  1995 - 2005

Location:  Russia and Central Asia

SubjectPolitical/Economic/Social Opinion

MediumPrint Journalism

Artist: Ilham Saban, Smira Mamigdze, Ilhame Mamigdze and other Azerbaijani journalists

Confronting Bodies: Azerbaijan's police and government officials

Date of Action: November 1998

Specific Location: Baku and Turan, Azerbaijan

Description of Artwork: Any publications critical of Azerbaijan's government and leaders

Description of Incident: Ilham Saban was beaten by Turan police, even after he presented his press identification, during a rally opposing the current government leadership. There have been numerous reports of reporters being beaten by police in Azerbaijan during the three days of demostration in November.

Results of Incident: On November 10 Azerbaijan's parliament declared that the Information Ministry will "'take all legal measures' to preclude the publication of 'unconfirmed and provacative materials' and to 'defend the honour and dignity of the president'" In addition, on November 13 the government passed legislation limiting the right to demonstration and to impose stricter prison sentences for those who take part in and organize oppositional demonstrations.

Source: Index on Censorship, 1/99

Submitted By: NCAC

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