Azerbaijan

Stop the Ongoing Harassment of Activists’ Family in Azerbaijan

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Civil Rights Defenders is concerned by the persistent harassment of the family of Azerbaijani human rights defender Bashir Suleymanli, Director of the Institute for Citizen Rights and Co-Founder of the Election Monitoring and Democracy Center. We call upon the Government of Azerbaijan to immediately cease this intimidation, respect its citizenry’s rights to freedom of speech and assembly, and combat the growing impunity of local security services outside of the country’s capital Baku.

Journalist Mehman Huseynov Sentenced to Two Years on Fabricated Charges

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Civil Rights Defenders calls upon the Azerbaijani authorities to immediately release Mehman Huseynov, a prominent blogger and Chairperson of the press freedom organization, the Institute for Reporters Freedom and Safety, who was sentenced to two years imprisonment on spurious charges of defamation. The lawsuit was brought by the chief of police in Baku’s Nasimi District after Huseynov publicly spoke out about his torture by district officers in January 2017. Huseynov was immediately taken into custody directly from the courtroom.

No Progress on Key Reforms: Transparency Group Should Suspend Azerbaijan’s Membership

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Civil Rights Defenders and a coalition of 20 leading civil society organisations calls on the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), a prominent international coalition, to suspend Azerbaijan’s membership for failing to carry out key reforms. The EITI Board meeting is due to take place in Bogota on the 08 and 09 of March in order to review the country’s efforts to reduce oppression against civil society groups.

Show Trial Ends with Harsh Sentences for Islamic Activists

The trial of conservative Sh’ia religious activists involved in what is known as the 'Nardaran Affair' has reached its long-expected conclusion, with all 17 defendants sentenced to up to 20-year prison terms. (Photo courtesy of Vladic Ravich)

The trial of conservative Sh’ia religious activists involved in what is known as the ‘Nardaran Affair’ has reached its long-expected conclusion, with all 17 defendants sentenced to up to 20-year prison terms. All the defendants – 16 members of Muslim Unity, a moderate Islamist group, along with a lone secular opposition politician – were found guilty on a litany of charges ranging from arms trafficking to plotting to overthrow the government.

Justice Demanded for Journalist Tortured in Prison in Azerbaijan

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Civil Rights Defenders together with 18 International Human Rights Organisations have strongly condemned the abduction and torture of journalist Mehman Huseynov and immediately calls on the Azerbaijani authorities to comprehensively investigate the case and to take action against those responsible. He is one of Azerbaijan’s top political bloggers and Chairman of the local press freedom group, Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS).

Statement: Stop Crackdown on Freedom of Expression in Azerbaijan

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Civil Rights Defenders and several of its partners from the Sport for Rights coalition call upon the Azerbaijani authorities to reverse the alarming trend as it carries out a multi-pronged attack on freedom of expression: including introducing harsh penalties for critical speech online, imprisoning young activists for nothing more than graffiti, blocking access to websites of independent […]

Remembering the Plight of Human Rights Defenders in Prison

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On the eve of the arrest of investigative Journalist Khadiya Ismayilova Civil Rights Defenders and other members of the Sports for Rights coalition together with the Civic Society Platform call for the immediate and unconditional release from prison of all human rights defenders. Ismayilova is one of dozens of human rights defenders and political prisoners who have been incarcerated by the regime on politically motivated charges.

Azerbaijan Parliamentary Elections : Report Examines Two Years of Repression in Azerbaijan

While Rasul has been released Khadiya Ismayilova and Intigam Aliyev still remain behind bars

With just two days remaining until Azerbaijan’s parliamentary elections, the Sport for Rights campaign of which Civil Rights Defenders is a member, has launched a new report examining the unprecedented human rights crackdown taking place in the country. Since the inauguaral 2015 European Games held in Baku the authorities have clamped down on civil society organisations and human roghts defenders with an iron fist silencing all remaining critical voices in the country.

Azerbaijan: Dismay as Investigative Journalist Khadiya Ismayilova is Sentenced to 7.5 Years in Prison

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Civil Rights Defenders condemns the politically motivated sentencing of Azerbaijani investigative journalist Khadiya Ismayilova to 7.5 years in prison. Today, the 01st September Khadiya was convicted by the Baku Court of Grave Crimes on charges of embezzlement, tax evasion, illegal entrepreneurship and abuse of office. She was acquitted on an earlier charge of inciting someone to commit suicide.

Alarming Deterioration in the Human Rights Landscape in Azerbaijan

While Rasul has been released Khadiya Ismayilova and Intigam Aliyev still remain behind bars

The human rights situation continues to deteriorate in Azerbaijan in the aftermath of the European Games. On August 08th, the journalist Rasim Aliyev was brutally attacked and severely beaten by a group of people. He subsequently died on August 09th in a Baku hospital while human rights defenders Leyla and Arif Yunus were handed down lengthy prison sentences yesterday on politically motivated charges.

Azerbaijan : The Repressive Side of the European Olympic Games.

While Rasul has been released Khadiya Ismayilova and Intigam Aliyev still remain behind bars

Azerbaijan’s human rights record will once again be in the spotlight on the 16th June 2015 when Civil Rights Defenders will co-sponsor an event at the 29th session of the UN Human Rights Council. Entitled Azerbaijan: The Repressive Side of the European Olympic Games and organised by Human Rights House Network, International Media Support and People in Need, the event will shine a light on the severe restrictions on fundamental freedoms and the imprisonment of civil society.

Authorities Must Drop Charges Against Prominent Journalist in Azerbaijan

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In August 2014, Emin Huseynov, Director of the Azerbaijani Institute for Reporter’s Freedom and Safety (IRFS), was forced into hiding in order to protect himself from Government repression. At the time Emin Huseynov was accused of tax evasion, illegal business and abuse of power, charges that Civil Rights Defenders and other international human rights organisations consider politically motivated.