Human Rights House Foundation

Azerbaijan

Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety (IRFS)

The Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS) is a local Azerbaijani NGO that was founded on World Press Freedom Day (3 May) in 2006 by two Azerbaijani journalists; Emin Huseynov (former correspondent for Turan News Agency) and Sarvan Rizvanov (former correspondent for Turan News Agency). On 29 September 2006 the organization was officially registered with the Republic of Azerbaijan’s Justice Ministry.

According to IRFS’ charter, the organization’s mission is:

  • to provide urgently needed legal assistance to injured journalists
  • to prepare reports on freedom of the press in Azerbaijan
  • to, in the event of violence against journalists, organize investigations into these matters by independent journalists
  • to organize training and seminars for journalists
  • to prepare projects about journalist safety and the protection of their work rights.
  • to organize roundtables dedicated to the problems of journalists.
  • to build relationships with international journalism organizations, etc.

Since its inception, the Institute for Reporter Freedom and Safety has been monitoring all violence against journalists and violations of journalists’ rights in Azerbaijan. It has prepared statements and special reports, conducted press conferences, and increased awareness at a international level about the violation of journalists’ rights and attacks on journalists. IRFS has become one of the most respected journalist organization in Azerbaijan, and has forged working relationships with many international organizations, including the Committee to Protect Journalists, International Press Institute, Reporters Without Borders, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Human Rights House, the National Endowment for Democracy, Council of Europe, Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe (OSCE), Memo 98, Open Society Institute (former Soros) and so on.  

In October 2007, IRFS became a member of the prestigious International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX).

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