International rights groups are calling for immediate action against the persecution and abuse of independent media in ex-Soviet Azerbaijan.
Agnes Callamard of London-based group Article 19 said Thursday that the international community has been too lenient about the heavy-handed treatment of independent Azeri media.
Courtney Radsch of Washington-based Freedom House said that the richness of Azerbaijan's resources "does not match the richness of its commitment" to media freedom.
President Ilkham Aliev has ruled the oil-rich Caspian nation since taking over from his father in 2003.
Azeri media expert Rashid Hajili said that this year alone, 14 journalists have faced criminal investigations which did not, however, result in convictions.