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.
The European Parliament, the EU’s elected representatives, have made clear they will not ratify a deal with Azerbaijan unless it improves it’s human rights record. The European Commission should now follow through with a clear message — Azerbaijan’s crackdown on dissent must end and political prisoners freed.
The lack of job opportunities and development prospects in the rural regions of Azerbaijan has provoked a population influx to the capital, and the rapid growth of Baku’s population has increased the load on the city’s infrastructure. Problems faced by the metropolis and its inhabitants include gas cutoffs, waste management issues, water shortages, and traffic jams. [Read more…]
Widespread reports have emerged in recent weeks, both in Armenia and in Azerbaijan’s press, that the Azerbaijani military has made territorial gains along Armenia’s border with the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan. Armenia’s authorities have insisted that new Azerbaijani military positions are within Azerbaijan’s own territory and Azerbaijan’s authorities have remained tight-lipped.
Two years on from the April 2016 war, which caused the deaths of hundreds and a loss of territory, Nagorno-Karabakh’s youth are more determined than ever to stay in their homeland and build a future there. Galvanised by their recent experience of war, young men living close to the frontline talk of what the April events meant for them and how they remain ever vigilant of another outbreak of fighting.