The Global Network Initiative urges the Government of Azerbaijan to drop the criminal investigation of Emin Huseynov, director of GNI civil society member the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS), and allow him to travel freely.

As reported by the Swiss news program “Rundschau,” Huseynov has been living in the Swiss Embassy in Baku, Azerbaijan since August 2014 when he fled imminent arrest on fabricated charges leveled by the government in response to his work defending journalists and documenting freedom of expression rights violations in Azerbaijan.

“The Azerbaijani government is persecuting Emin Huseynov for the same reasons that international human rights organizations work with him: his tireless efforts to protect journalists and defend online freedoms. They should immediately drop the charges against him and other imprisoned reporters and activists,” said GNI Board Chair Mark Stephens.

Freedom of expression and privacy are not only universal human rights, they are also critical to a more stable, inclusive, and prosperous Azerbaijan. GNI urges the Government of Azerbaijan to allow independent media and civil society organizations to work freely, helping Azerbaijan realize the benefits of the Internet era.