• Urgent Action

Urgent Action: RELEASE ARRESTED JOURNALISTS (Azerbaijan 31.24)

May 14, 2024

At least fourteen journalists have been arrested in Azerbaijan on apparent fabricated charges in retaliation for their critical reporting. Several of them have reportedly been subjected to ill-treatment. They should be immediately released.


take action:

  • Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
  • Click here to let us know the actions you took on Urgent Action 31.24. It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help.

contact information:

Ilham Aliyev

President of Azerbaijan

19 Istiqlaliyyat Street Baku AZ1066, Azerbaijan

Email: [email protected]

Embassy of Azerbaijan in the United States

Ambassador Khazar Ibrahim

2741 34th St

NW, Washington, DC 20008

Email: [email protected]


[email protected]

sample letter:

Dear President, 

I am concerned about the arbitrary detention of at least 14 journalists in retaliation for their critical reporting.

On April 18, police arrested Imran Aliyev, journalist and founder of parliamentary watchdog website, Meclis.info. He is accused of smuggling grant money and charged with “conspiring to bring money into the country unlawfully” (Article 206.3.2 of Criminal Code). His relatives have reported that Imran Aliyev has been ill-treated in custody and forced to waive his right to a lawyer. He had bruises and visible marks of violence on his face and body when appearing at court the next day, where he was remanded in pretrial detention.

At least 13 other journalists remain in prison on similar unfounded charges of smuggling grant money received from international donors and extortion.

These include six journalists from investigative news outlet, AbzasMedia: its director, Ulvi Hasanli; his deputy, Mahammad Kekelov; editor-in-chief, Sevinj Vagifgyzy; staff journalists, Elnara Gasimova and Nargiz Absalamova; and investigative journalist, Hafiz Babali, who are accused with smuggling grant money. Similar charges were brought against journalists, Aziz Orujov and Shamo Eminov, from online news channel Kanal 13; the founder of independent news outlet Toplum TV, Alasgar Mammadli; and its journalist, Mushfig Jabbar.

At least three independent journalists, Teymur Karimov, Ibrahim Humbatov, and Arshad Ibrahimov, remain in prison over unfounded and dubious charges of extortion.

I urge you to take steps to immediately release all journalists arrested for their critical reporting, including on charges of smuggling and extortion, ensure an effective investigation of their allegations of ill-treatment, and stop the clampdown on media freedom.

Yours sincerely,