The Confederation of Independent Football Associations (ConIFA) announced on 19 August that Nagorno-Karabakh would host its 2019 European Football Cup. It promised to specify soon the exact June dates and other details of the tournament, which will be held in capital Stepanakert.
An Azerbaijani court has overturned the prison sentence of Ilgar Mammadov, chair of the opposition Republican Alternative Movement (REAL). On Monday, Shaki Court of Appeals replaced his two remaining years in prison with a suspended prison term and a ban on leaving the country. Mammadov had already served 5 years in prison. [Read more…]
Ten people have been arrested in Azerbaijan accused of breaching rules on the use of pesticides and fertilisers on cotton plantations. The arrests follow mass poisonings from pesticides and fertilisers in June that may have affected over 300 workers. [Read more…]
On Wednesday, several media outlets belonging to the Azerbaijani media holding APA misquoted President Ilham Aliyev as saying ‘we will bring Armenia to its knees’. Despite later apologising for the mistake and taking the story down, their websites went offline.
Azerbaijan celebrated National Press Day on Sunday, marking the 143rd anniversary of the establishment of national press. As the country commemorated the founding of its first newspaper, Akinchi, in 1875, free speech and journalism advocacy groups highlighted Azerbaijan’s poor record in media freedom. [Read more…]
Torture, impunity, and corruption, are ‘endemic’ in Azerbaijani law enforcement agencies and armed forces, according to a report published on Thursday by the Council of Europe (CoE). The report said the institutions were plagued by a ‘generalised culture of violence’ among their staff. [Read more…]
Azerbaijani human rights lawyer Emin Aslan was prevented from boarding a flight out of Azerbaijan in Baku International Airport on Monday morning, he has confirmed to OC Media. Aslan was released 13 days ago after serving 30 days in administrative detention for ‘disobeying police’. His detention in June was condemned at the time by local rights groups as well as the EU Parliament. [Read more…]
Two senior police officers were killed in Azerbaijan’s second city, Ganja, on Tuesday during an anti-government protest. The demonstration was reportedly organised against local mayor Elmar Valiyev, who survived an assassination attempt the previous week.
Nearly five years after the Azerbaijani government began a renewed crackdown on dissenting voices, the environment remains hostile for opposition parties. The authorities create the semblance of a multi-party system by financing political parties whose role is to function as the opposition while maintaining the status quo. Some fear that suppressing genuine opposition and excluding it from the political arena will lead to more radical forms of activism, which could ultimately be damaging for the state.
The European Parliament has said it will not ratify a comprehensive agreement with Azerbaijan if the country ‘does not respect fundamental EU values and rights’. In Wednesday’s plenary session, parliament instructed the European Council, European Commission, and specifically EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini to prioritise fundamental freedoms and the fight against corruption in ongoing negotiations with the authorities in Baku.