The Azerbaijan court on Friday has approved the government’s request to block the sites of the US-funded broadcasting company and several media outlets who were criticizing President Ilham Aliyev.

The Baku district court upheld the demand of the Ministry of Transport and Communications that the Azerbaijani branch of Radio Free Europe (Radio Liberty). Radio Azadlig, represents “a threat to the legitimate interests of the state and society.”

In the ordinary open session, the court also blocked several’s of Internet TV including “Saati-TV”, “Turan-TV” and “Meidan TV”.

The lawyers of media outlets have condemned this decision as illegal and unreasonable.

Lawyer Samed Ragimov said in a statement to the AFP, “The verdict violates international law rules.” “Any publication found in the case of the authorities of Azerbaijan did not constitute a violation of laws and public interests.”

Turan TV director Ganimat Zahid condemned the legal action against the online media in early April as “a step towards freedom of speech”.

Azerbaijan has been subjected to strong international criticism to increase pressures on the opposition and opposition media since the election of Azerbaijan, Aliyev, for a third term in 2013.

The tightly controlled ex-Soviet republic, in April 2017 in the World Press Freedom Index of 2017, the group of press freedom advocates entered 162 by Journalists Without Borders.

The group said independent journalists and bloggers were “imprisoned if they did not commit harassment, beatings, blackmail or bribes”.

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