Afghan Mukhtarly's arrest. Photo by Aziz Karimov for the "Caucasian Knot"

30 December 2017, 06:48

Azerbaijani activists report repression intensification in 2017

In 2017, Azerbaijani authorities scaled up their attacks on human rights, the activists and political analysts, interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot", believe. They pointed to a severe verdict on the "Nardaran case" and increased pressure on independent journalists.

The authorities continued their repressions against their critics – journalists, activists and bloggers, said Elshan Gasanov, the head of the Monitoring Centre of Political Prisoners.

According to the Centre’s data as of November 20, 2017, 159 people were convicted or arrested for political reasons in Azerbaijan.

"More than two thirds of the political prisoners are believers. The year was notable for severe sentences to activists and supporters of the "Muslim Unity" movement, headed by Talekh Bagirzade," Mr Gasanov has stated.

Nasimi Mamedli, a political analyst, has also noted the worsened human rights situation. According to his story, an important event of 2017 was the international scandal surrounding the authorities’ corruption – the so-called "Azerbaijani Landromat".

Anti-corruption rallies received no continuation, because "the population is intimidated by arrests; and oppositional organizations are scattered," Mr Mamedli has suggested.

The world should not stay indifferent to human rights violations and suppression of free media in Azerbaijan, Emin Guseinov, the executive director of the Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety (IRFS), has stated.

Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.

Author: Faik Medjid; Source: CK correspondent

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