One of the few remaining independent media outlets in Azerbaijan, the 2014 Index on Censorship Guardian Journalism Award-winning newspaper Azadliq has been forced to suspend publication due to an ongoing financial crisis. This comes just a day after the government of Azerbaijan targeted prominent human rights defenders Leyla and Arif Yunus and Rasul Jafarov. Yunus and her husband have been detained for three months as prosecutors build a case around charges that include high treason. Jafarov has been banned from traveling.
The paper’s Editor-in-Chief Rahim Haciyev told Contact AZ that without an immediate payment of 20,000 manat (£15,105.39) to its printer, the latest issue would not be produced. The paper’s government-backed distributor, which according to Haciyev owes Azadliq 70,000 manat (£52,868.86), has refused. This is not the first time that Azadliq, which has reported on government corruption and cronyism, has faced a financial cliff.
Index Reports: Locking up free expression: Azerbaijan silences critical voices (Oct 2013) | Running Scared: Azerbaijan’s silenced voices (Mar 2012)