Azerbaijan: Forced EvictionsFebruary 27, 2012
The government of Azerbaijan has forcibly evicted homeowners and demolished their homes for urban development projects in the capital of Baku. Dozens of families have been evicted from the neighborhood where the arena for the May 2012 Eurovision Song Contest is being built.
Introduction: 
The government of Azerbaijan has forcibly evicted homeowners and demolished their homes for urban development projects in the capital of Baku. Dozens of families have been evicted from the neighborhood where the arena for the May 2012 Eurovision Song Contest is being built. Human Rights Watch has documented the authorities’ illegal expropriation of properties and forcible evictions of dozens of families in four Baku neighborhoods, at times without warning or in the middle of the night. The authorities subsequently demolished homes, sometimes with residents’ possessions inside. The government has refused to provide homeowners fair compensation for the properties, many of which are in highly desirable locations even though Azerbaijani law stipulates that market value should be paid in compensation for a forced sale. In many cases, including in the National Flag Square area, the government has cut services or begun dismantling apartment buildings in which some residents remained. These measures make the buildings uninhabitable and compel residents to leave.