According to an annual report by international media rights group Reporters Without Borders (RWB), Georgia remained 64th out of 180 countries in the group’s Press Freedom Index. Georgia placed highest amongst countries in the Caucasus, with Armenia coming in 79th and Russia and Azerbaijan lagging behind at 148th and 162nd. [Read more…]
On 16 April, 51.34% of Turkish voters decided to approve proposed amendments to the Turkish constitution, effectively abolishing the office of prime minister and replacing the parliamentary system of government with a presidential one.
Conflicts over self-determination have been thoroughly studied. There is no shortage of works on the scope and contents of self-determination. Likewise, the thorny issue of what a ‘people’ constitutes has been widely problematised as well. Scholars have also investigated the delicate question of cases in which secession is permissible, with some advocating for ‘remedial secession’ in exceptional circumstances. However, how should the de facto states themselves — the most notorious outcomes of these secessionist conflicts in the South Caucasus — be addressed?
Azerbaijan’s highest court, the Supreme Court, decided on 4 April to hear an appeal from human rights activist Bayram Mammadov. Mammadov was sentenced last year to 10 years in prison on charges of ‘drug trafficking’. [Read more…]
Lezgins are one of five major ethnic groups living within Azerbaijan. The population of Lezgins makes up approximately 2% of the whole population of Azerbaijan. Their religion is Islam, and their language is Lezgi. Historically, Lezgins have inhabited the beautiful Caucasus Mountains between the Black and Caspian Seas. Part of the ethnic group is living in Dagestan, Russian Federation and another is beyond the border with Russia in the north-eastern part of Azerbaijan; Qusar, Quba and Khachmaz. However, the western part of Azerbaijan in Zaqatala and Balakan regions are also populated with many ethnic minorities including Lezgins. The UNHCR states that Lezgins make up 40% of the population of the Qusar and Khachmaz regions and that Greater Baku is 1.8% Lezgin. [Read more…]
Celebrations for Nowruz — the coming of spring — were held in the southern Georgian town of Marneuli, where the majority of the population are ethnic Azerbaijanis. [Read more…]
On 13 March, three Azerbaijani citizens were detained in an inspection conducted by Daghestan’s Prosecutor’s Office in the central Daghestani town of Buynaksk. The inspection is a part of the authorities’ continuing crackdown on illegal workers.
Azerbaijan is working on a draft law to amend legislation regulating the internet to increase tighten rules on online media. While the Azerbaijani government claims the amendments are aimed at ensuring information security and protection of human rights, activists see the proposed changes as restriction of the freedom of the internet.