Aliyev signed the bill into law in June, in direct contradiction to the national action plan on human rights that he had issued in December 2011, which provided for defamation to be decriminalised in 2012.The move prompted widespread international criticism, including from the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muiznieks, and the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mijatovic, who said the adoption of the legislation clearly violated Azerbaijan's international obligations.
- Expression Online Initiative, November 2012 report Among the most alarming developments in recent months have been the extension of criminal defamation provisions to the internet, the posting of a sex video of a prominent female investigative journalist to a pro-government website, and increasing reports of hack attacks against the websites of critical newspapers and human rights organisations.
Criminalised internet defamation In May, Azerbaijan's parliament adopted regressive legislation extending criminal defamation provisions to online content.
With Azerbaijan's October 9 presidential elections rapidly approaching, critical journalists, bloggers and activists are facing growing pressure from a government that is becoming increasingly hostile to criticism and dissent that is expressed online.
The Azerbaijani authorities have long been working to punish and silence critical voices in the country, resulting in a broadcast media environment completely dominated by the state, and a print media climate where the few remaining critical publications are struggling for survival.
A few seconds into the recording the boy looks into the camera above him and smiles as the girl remains facing down.
The boy can be heard talking to the girl, but it is not clear what he is saying to her.
“I don’t know how far this clip has spread because my nephew belongs to another school,” she said. The graphic clip clearly shows a teen girl having sex with her classmate while sitting on his lap. The teenagers’ school uniform is identifiable on the video.
In the video, the boy’s pants are pulled down to his knees as he sits in a chair with one hand placed around the girl.
And unfortunately, there are no mechanisms or institutions that can protect domestic bloggers and social media activists against such persecution.