Yale students conduct research for EHRAC case on internet restrictions in Azerbaijan

11 September 2017

“We are delighted to be collaborating again with Yale Law School and that the research carried out, and legal points developed, by the Clinic students will be directly used in this important case pending before the European Court.”

Prof. Philip Leach, EHRAC Director

Students from the Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic at Yale Law School are collaborating with EHRAC lawyers on a case before the European Court of Human Rights challenging a block the government of Azerbaijan has placed on four news websites in Azerbaijan. Over the next four months, the Lowenstein Clinic team will research restrictions on online media, including steps taken by the government to control websites and media outlets accessible in Azerbaijan.

EHRAC is representing Meydan TVAzadliqAzerbaycan Saati and Turan TV (prominent independent and/or opposition news websites recently blocked in Azerbaijan) before the European Court. We argue that the ban restricts the websites’ freedom of expression and is politically motivated, and that they did not have any effective means of challenging the decision domestically.

This is not the first time EHRAC’s litigation has been bolstered by the Clinic’s research. In 2015, five students produced a paper on events in eastern Ukraine to support EHRAC’s pending cases on the ongoing conflict in the Donbas region.

The Yale students will be supervised by James Silk, Binger Clinical Professor of Human Rights at Yale Law School and Supervising Attorney of the Lowenstein Clinic. Professor Silk said,

“Our earlier opportunity to work with EHRAC provided our students with an extraordinary experience in human rights research and advocacy. Our team is excited to be able to contribute to this effort to protect the right to freedom of expression and to a meaningful remedy for violations of that right.”

Prof. James Silk