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Sevinc Vaqifqizi

WHRD, Journalist, Editor-in-Chief
Abzas Media

Sevinc Vaqifqizi is a woman human rights defender and journalist, as well as the editor-in chief of Abzas Media; she has documented and exposed high-level corruption, including allegations against high-ranking officials – even the President and members of his family. She previously worked as a local journalist for exile-based independent media outlet Meydan TV for 9 years.

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.