12 June 2015, 05:33
HRW reports on atmosphere of repressions in Baku before opening of European Games
The first European Games are opened in Azerbaijan in an atmosphere of the government repressions, which are unprecedented in the post-Soviet era in the country. This was announced by the "Human Rights Watch" (HRW). The Azerbaijan's authorities deny the allegations and claim the absence of political prisoners in the country.
The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that the first European Games will be launched in Baku on June 12.
During the recent weeks before the European Games, the Azerbaijan's authorities have refused to issue accreditations and visas for at least three foreign journalists from the leading European media. This was stated by Rachel Denber, the Deputy Director of the HRW's Programmes for Europe and Central Asia.
On June 10, the "Amnesty International" (AI) reported that its delegation was refused in entering Baku. Earlier, on March 31, the Azerbaijan's authorities banned Georgy Gogiya, the Senior HRW's Researcher, from entering the country.
According to the HRW, the unprecedented steps taken by the Azerbaijan's government and the repressions became the worst in the post-Soviet era. According to Rachel Denber, starting from 2014, the Azerbaijan's authorities prosecuted or arrested at least 35 journalists, human rights defenders, and political activists on unfounded accusations.
In his turn, Patrick Hickey, the President of the European Olympic Committee (EOC), has announced the futility of calling for a boycott of the European Games.
Members of pro-government NGOs do not agree with the international criticism concerning human rights violations in Azerbaijan. So, on June 6, the "Civil Society Coalition" stated that "enemies of Azerbaijan launched a campaign against the competitions in Baku."
Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.
Author: Faik Medzhid; Source: CK correspondent