Updates on Reporters
This is probably one of those topics that I shouldn’t be touching again. Living here as a foreigner can be hard enough, considering some of the harassment foreigners are subject to (suspicion of being spies, our Western notions of freedom, and looking out of place seem to rile folks up a bit). Luckily, I haven’t had to deal with any of that yet, though there are PCVs who do.
That said, I’ll go ahead and mention two of the big things going on, since one recent event concerns my good pal, Barack. The first big deal is a story about an editor here named Eynulla Fatullayev. Over the past year, he has been arrested and jailed, put through multiple trials and appeals, and garnered the attention of the European Court of Human Rights. Not too bad, huh? His main goal has been to find the killer of an investigative journalist murdered in 2005. Oh, and he’s been rather critical of the government, too. Arzu has been pretty thorough in her commentary on the subject over at Flying Carpets. Why I bring this up is that a Norwegian journalist, Erling Borgen has just released a set of short videos about Eynulla and his trials. Arzu had a two posts about what happened to this Norwegian upon his leaving the country. Now you can see the fruits of his visit.
The second story, the one involving Barack, is the recent meeting between Barack and Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev. Apparently, Barack brought up the two bloggers’ cases that erupted last fall. Barack urged the Azeri president to release the two bloggers. That’s a pretty big step here. I’m not sure how the president of Azerbaijan receives such advice. Again, Arzu has had some things to say about the bloggers’ cases (those are just a sampling of what she’s posted about Emin and Adnan). It would be interesting to see if Barack’s public statement regarding these two men has any influence on Azerbaijan’s treatment of them. That would be a departure from recent reactions to outside influence, like from the European Court of Human Rights.