Azerbaijan is celebrating its National Press Day today. But when it comes to press freedoms, there’s not much to celebrate, argues Catherine Pilishvili from Human Rights Watch.
An Azerbaijani activist being sought by Azerbaijan via Interpol has been arrested in Georgia, where he was seeking asylum. Azerbaijan has accused him of fraud while his lawyer said he was being persecuted for his criticism of the government. [Read more…]
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…]
The European Parliament has expressed concerns over high-level corruption, human rights protection, labour safety, judicial independence, and more in Georgia in a report on the implementation of the country’s EU Association Agreement. Despite criticisms, the report’s summary said overall assessment of the implementation process was positive. [Read more…]
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.
Dozens gathered outside Tbilisi’s Parliament building on Tuesday to mark a year since Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarli was abducted in Tbilisi. Mukhtarli was sentenced to six years in prison by an Azerbaijani court on charges rights groups say are trumped-up. [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.
An Azerbaijani court rejected an appeal by abducted journalist Afgan Mukhtarli on Wednesday, upholding his 6-year prison sentence. The day before the hearing, one of his lawyers had his license suspended for ‘politicising the case’. [Read more…]
The latest Eastern Partnership summit offered little to Georgia, raising questions as to what to do next. While officials in Brussels mostly advise patience, discussion in Georgia abound on the best way to attract the EU’s attention further. [Read more…]
The EU, US, OSCE, and local and international rights groups have urged Azerbaijani authorities to release Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarli, who was sentenced on 12 January to 6 years in prison. Georgian authorities have also faced criticism for a the slow pace of the investigation into his abduction from Tbilisi. [Read more…]