Reporters Withouth Borders ranked Azerbaijan 162 (out of 180) in its recently published 2015 Press Freedom Index.
"It was a bad year in Azerbaijan, which registered one of the biggest falls in score of any country in the index. The regime is in the process of silencing the few remaining independent voices that it has not already managed to suppress. Outspoken journalists and bloggers are being given the same choice as human rights defenders – shut up, flee abroad or be jailed on trumped-up charges" concludes the organization.
The organization says there has been a "drastic decline in freedom of information in 2014" across the world - 8 percent increase over 2014 and almost 10 percent compared with 2013.
Reporters Without Borders condemn the media law amendments, which were signed by the President Aliyev on February 3. The new changes allow the ministry of justice to close any news outlet receiving foreign funding and/or if facing defamation carges.
Among other concerns mentioned by the organization are the detention of an award winning investigative reporter Khadija Ismayilova (December 5) and sentencing of another opposition journalist Seymur Hezi to five years for "hooliganism" (January 30).