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IFJ and EFJ launch digital safety tips ahead of Baku games

11 June 2015

As Azerbaijan’s capital Baku is getting prepared for the first European Olympic Games on 12-28 June, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) have published a set of safety guidelines to support journalists reporting on the ground. 

Jim Boumelha, IFJ president, said:

"We are concerned that journalists may be subject to surveillance by the Azeri security services if they trespass the limits and boundaries fixed by their official accreditation to cover other issues than the Baku 2015 European Games. “These guidelines will provide journalists on the ground with basic tips to support their free reporting in Azerbaijan. We ask our affiliates and all media to circulate them widely”."

The digital safety tips include a list of mobile applications to ensure anonymity as well as special software and techniques to mask activities and avoid tracking and spying.  

Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, the EFJ president said:

"“Given the infamous human rights record of Azerbaijan, we encourage journalists to take extra caution to protect their sources and information when covering the event.”" 

IFJ and EFJ deplore that despite their calls to the Azeri president for the immediate release of 7 imprisoned journalists ahead of the Games, their colleagues remain behind the bars on the basis of fabricated charges such as hooliganism, possession of drug and weapons and tax evasion. Nijat Aliyev (arrested 20 May 2012), Araz Guliyev (arrested 8 September 2012), Parviz Hashimli (arrested 17 September 2013), Seymur Hazi (arrested 29 August 2014), Khadija Ismayilova (arrested 5 December 2014), Hilal Mamedov (arrested 21 June 2012) and Rauf Mirkadyrov (arrested 19 April 2014) are among them. In addition, journalist and human rights activist Emin Huseynov is in hiding since August 2014 and faces up to 12 years in prison if convicted.

The IFJ and EFJ insist that they will continue denouncing the Azeri crackdown against press freedom and human rights and call on the Azeri government to respect Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights regarding Freedom of Expression of which the country is a signatory.

Hands off press freedom in Azerbaijan - IFJ campaign

IFJ/EFJ digital safety tips for journalists covering the Baku 2015 European games

Tags: , azerbaijan, digital, surveillance, guidance, human rights, journalists detained, ifj, efj, sports, olympics