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Azerbaijan: Exiled journalist, working on corruption in oil & gas sector, faces smear campaign & illegal surveillance

Author: Crude Accountability, Published on: 13 May 2019

"Azerbaijan: Government-backed Media Must Stop Harassing Sevinj Osmanqizi'', 3 May 2019

Crude Accountability is deeply concerned about the smear campaign and illegal surveillance of Sevinj Osmanqizi, an independent opposition journalist from Azerbaijan now living in exile in the United States...On April 7th the government-backed Azerbaijani channel Real-TV broadcasted an illegally-tapped private conversation between Sevinj Osmanqizi, who lives in the United States, and another independent journalist living in exile in Germany, Chingiz Sultansoy...The smear campaign portrayed Osmanqizi as a traitor and a liar. On April 21st Sevinj Osmanqizi received an ultimatum to stop her journalism work (independent Facebook-based news shows) within a week or her intimate pictures and private information would be exposed. Osmanqizi made a statement that such mafia-style blackmail would not stop her from doing her work...Right before the smear campaign started, Osmanqizi ran a series of programs centered around corruption in the oil and gas sector of Azerbaijan. In the programs, Osmanqizi gave a platform to experts and economists to share critical views of the current financial situation and overwhelming corruption. Shortly after running the series, Osmanqizi became a target of the smear campaign. Given the timing, the orders for pressuring her are likely to have come from the highest levels of government.

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