Activists of the Musavat political party are shouting "Freedom!" Photo by Aziz Karimov for the "Caucasian Knot"

22 January 2018, 03:54

HRW: situation with protection of human rights in Azerbaijan deteriorates

In its annual report on the protection of human rights in the world, the "Human Rights Watch" (HRW) reports that the Azerbaijani authorities have enhanced the suppression of its critics. Azerbaijani rights defenders interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot" believe it is time for the United States, the European Union and international organizations to move from statements to concrete actions.

In 2017, during unfair trials, courts sentenced at least 25 journalists and activists to long periods of imprisonment, the HRW's report states.

Dozens more are being persecuted and banned from travelling or fled the country. In prisons, warders continue to use torture, and the police arrested and ill-treated gays and transgender people.

As an example, the HRW's report mentions the verdict pronounced against theologian Talekh Bagirzade and 17 other activists sentenced in the "Nardaran case". The report also refers to verdicts to Faig Amirov, Fuad Akmedli, and Fuad Gakhramanly, members of the opposition "Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan" (PFPA).

The authors of the HRW's report note that the United States, the European Union and other international partners of Azerbaijan have not yet been able to influence the situation with human rights in the country.

Emin Guseinov, General Director of the Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety (IRFS), has reminded that bills of sanctions against violators of human rights have already been submitted to the US Congress.

According to Emin Guseinov, international financial institutions should also associate the provision of loans to finance energy projects in Azerbaijan with the improvement of the human rights situation in the country.

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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