Azerbaijan's parliament limits free speech
Region: Russia and Central Asia
Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion
Medium: Print Journalism
Artists: Ilham Saban, Smira Mamigdze, Ilhame Mamigdze and other Azerbaijani journalists
Confronting Bodies: Azerbaijan's police and government officials
Dates of Action: November 1998
Location: Baku and Turan, Azerbaijan
Description of Artwork: Any publications critical of Azerbaijan's government and leaders
The Incident: Ilham Saban was beaten by Turan police during a rally opposing the current government leadership, even after he presented his press identification. There have been numerous reports of reporters being beaten by police in Azerbaijan during the three days of demonstrations in November.
Results of Incident: On November 10 Azerbaijan's parliament declared that the Information Ministry will "'take all legal measures' to preclude the publication of 'unconfirmed and provacative materials' and to 'defend the honour and dignity of the president.'" In addition, on November 13, the government passed legislation limiting the right to demonstrate and to impose stricter prison sentences for those who take part in and organize oppositional demonstrations.
Source: Index on Censorship, 1/99