While Azerbaijan’s authorities deny that there are political prisoners in the country’s prisons at all — local and international rights groups disagree. Many former prisoners and their families complain that those locked up on political grounds face not only an unjust deprivation of their liberty, but special prohibitions such as on reading and speaking with their families. [Read more…]
Since exiled Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarli disappeared from Tbilisi, reappearing a day later in an Azerbaijani jail, suspicions of Georgian involvement in his kidnapping have remained. Mukhtarli himself has accused the Georgian government of complicity, and while this is a charge they deny, local rights groups are becoming impatient with the pace and transparency of the official investigation into his disappearance.
The number of political prisoners in Azerbaijan is among the highest in Europe. This repression serves not only as a tactic of intimidating journalists, activists, and the opposition, but also an instrument of foreign policy. [Read more…]
For the last nine years, pastoral Azerbaijani nomads in southern Georgia have celebrated their traditions with the annual Elat feast. Since last year, they say that the government has been cracking down on their small celebration — forcing them to make it ‘more Georgian’.
Ceasefire violations are a regular occurrence on both sides of the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and the village of Kokhanabi, 300 metres from the front, is no exception. While life is made almost impossible by a constant hail of gunfire from across the border, the government has left villagers to fend for themselves. [Read more…]
Azerbaijan’s ongoing crackdown against journalists and activists critical of the government has seen scores of critics imprisoned. Less well known are the stories of those who escape jail, but are still subjected to tremendous pressure — including restriction of their ability to travel abroad. [Read more…]