Azerbaijan’s government continues to wage a vicious crackdown on critics and dissenting voices. The space for independent activism, critical journalism, and opposition political activity has been virtually extinguished by the arrests and convictions of many activists, human rights defenders, and journalists, as well as by laws and regulations restricting the activities of independent groups and their ability to secure funding. The release of some wrongly-imprisoned human rights defenders, activists, and journalists in 2016 did not lead to a shift in the government’s punitive attitude towards independent activists and lawyers. While criticizing the increasing crackdown, Azerbaijan’s international partners have failed to set conditions to future cooperation that will help secure rights improvements.