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Mehman Huseynov

HRD & Editor-in-Chief

Mehman Huseynov is an Azerbaijani human rights defender and journalist who documents the extensive corrupt practices and violations of human rights in Azerbaijan. Mehman Huseynov is the editor-in-chief of the SANCAQ, a socio-political magazine, which is active on  Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. He is also Chairman of the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS), an Azerbaijani human rights organisation that campaigns for freedom of expression and freedom of information. His recent campaign, “Hunt for Corrupt Officials”, exposes documented corruption in the high echelons of Azerbaijan’s ruling establishment.

The space for human rights defenders (HRDs) and NGOs has been steadily shrinking in Azerbaijan. A number of legislative amendments have been adopted in recent years that restrict the work of HRDs and put their activities under strict governmental control. The roundup of the most prominent HRDs and their subsequent trials and imprisonment indicate that Azerbaijan is well on the road towards authoritarianism, seemingly adopting a Russian-style contempt of civil society.

Serious concern has been expressed in relation to the exercise of freedom of expression (including online), freedom of assembly and association. Despite mounting pressure from regional and international human rights bodies, the Government of Azerbaijan has failed to address any of the concerns raised. On the contrary, judicial harassment of journalists, editors and bloggers has been on the rise. There have been reports of increasing use of surveillance by intelligence services on human rights defenders.