Under President Ilham Aliyev, the economy of Azerbaijan has expanded spectacularly. An oil boom has fueled a 10 fold increase in the size of its economy since he took power in 2003.
But under Aliyev, the country of 10 million has been one of the hardest and cruelest places in the world for journalists. According to Freedom House, Azerbaijan’s government has used spurious charges to jail journalists and human rights activists. Disseminating information that harms the “honor and dignity” of Aliyev is a criminal offense. Journalists’ telephone calls and internet activity are regularly surveilled.