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Former RFE/RL Naxcivan Correspondent Wins Swedish Press Prize

Malahat Nasibova, head of the Democracy and NGO's Development Resource Center (file photo)
Malahat Nasibova, a former correspondent for RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service, is the recipient of the 2012 Swedish Press Freedom Award.

Nasibova, a 2009 RAFTO laureate, has reported for years on local developments and human rights in the Azerbaijani exclave of Naxcivan.

The region is de facto ruled independently from Azerbaijan and, by many acccounts, surpasses it in lawlessness. In recent years Nasibova suffered beatings and intimidation by local authorities and thugs while reporting for RFE/RL. In 2011, Yafez Hasanov was abducted by unidentified persons and expelled to the Iranian border while investigating a suspicious murder in Naxcivan's Julfa district.

The announcement of the award to Nasibova includes the dedication, ”For her fearless work to defend the freedom of the press, the freedom of speech, democracy and human rights in Azerbaijan.”

Nasibova currently reports for Turan News Agency, an independent news and information service in Azerbaijan.