• Azerbaijan hosted the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest, casting an international spotlight on the government’s deteriorating human rights record. The atmosphere for political activists and independent and pro-opposition journalists grew acutely hostile. Authorities used imprisonment as a tool for political retribution and forcibly dispersed a number of peaceful demonstrations, indiscriminately arresting activists and passersby. Restrictions on freedom of religion and the prosecution of unregistered religious groups continued. The government intensified its urban renewal campaign in the capital Baku, forcibly evicting thousands of families and illegally demolishing homes.

  • Khadija Ismayilova at the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly building in Strasbourg, France in September 2014.
    The arrest of Khadija Ismayilova, Azerbaijan’s leading investigative journalist and ardent government critic, is a devastating blow to critical voices in Azerbaijan.

Reports

Azerbaijan