February 5, Torture in Azerbaijan: Europe looks away


Photos of alleged torture by police published in Azerbaijan (oc-media.org)

Feb 5, 2024. Posted by  Balkan Periscope - Hellas


In the run-up to February 7 presidential elections, repression has increased in Azerbaijan, a former Soviet republic in the Caucasus that borders Iran and Armenia. 

Any opposition to President Ilham Aliyev is silenced. Human rights activists, journalists and political opponents are on the receiving end of the regime's wrath on a daily basis. Our reporters Karina Chabour and Roméo Langlois met victims of torture who are denouncing a violent system of repression. They also looked into the Council of Europe's ambiguous links to the regime in Baku.

In November 2023, several journalists and a member of the administrative team from Abzas, an online investigative media specialising in human rights in Azerbaijan, were arrested by the country's authorities. A few days later, Forbidden Stories, an international consortium of investigative journalists, announced that it was continuing Abzas's work.

As part of a consortium of French and international media organisations, RFI and FRANCE 24 are continuing the imprisoned journalists' investigations into corruption by the Azerbaijani authorities. The work is being published by a dozen partner media outlets.

Forbidden Stories is an international network of journalists whose mission is to pursue the investigations of journalists who have been murdered, threatened or imprisoned. Since its creation in 2017, more than 150 journalists and 60 media outlets have taken part in the collaborative investigations coordinated by Forbidden Stories, including "The Rafael Project", "Story Killers" and "The Pegasus Project".