Khadija Ismayilova joins protest action in Baku, March 8, 2019. Photo by Aziz Karimov for the Caucasian Knot

15 March 2019, 13:31

Activists support US State Department's criticism of human rights situation in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijani authorities fail to persecute and punish those who violate human rights; and this creates an atmosphere of impunity, says the report of the US State Department about the state of human rights in the world in 2018. Azerbaijani activists agree with the criticism and believe that sanctions should be imposed on the country's authorities.

On March 13, the US State Department published the above report on its website. The 40-page part of the document dedicated to Azerbaijan reports about the spread of illegal killings and torture in the country.

The report also cites stories of a number of political prisoners, in particular, journalist Afghan Mukhtarly, kidnapped in May 2017 in Georgia. The report also mentions Gezyal Bairamly, the Deputy Chairman of the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan (PFPA), who was found guilty of smuggling on January 23, 2018, and sentenced to 3 years in prison.

Human rights activists are convinced of the political motives of these arrests.

The State Department also stated the restriction of the freedom of expression and media in Azerbaijan, noting that governmental and pro-governmental media dominate the country's media space; only a very limited number of independent online media provide different opinions, for which the authorities punish them in various ways.

The State Department's report objectively reflects the situation in Azerbaijan, Khadija Ismayilova, an investigative journalist, a member of the working group of the civil society for drawing up the list of political prisoners, believes.

"However, the scale of human rights violations is much greater," Ms Ismayilova told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

"It would be good if, after the State Department's report, a UN mission would arrive in the country and would investigate the facts of violations," said Khadija Ismayilova. She believes that international sanctions should be imposed on human rights violators.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on March 14, 2019 at 11:32 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Faik Medzhid; Source: CK correspondent

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