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Azerbaijan is celebrating its National Press Day today. But when it comes to press freedoms, there’s not much to celebrate, argues Catherine Pilishvili from Human Rights Watch. 
 Just ask Seymur Hazi. He was a leading columnist for the opposition…
Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarli is brought to the court after he has been abducted in Georgia and forcibly taken to neighboring Azerbaijan where he was detained in custody.
News

Azerbaijan and Georgia need to answer urgent questions about reporter’s kidnapping and imprisonment.

Two years ago, prominent Azerbaijani journalist and IWPR contributor Afgan Mukhtarli vanished from the centre of Tbilisi.  That evening he had met a friend in a cafe, picked up some bread on the way back and called his wife Leyla Mustafayeva, also a…
Afgan Mukhtarli
News
A new treaty to deepen the link between environmental protection and human rights in Latin America and the Caribbean has the potential to reduce the conflicts that lead to the murders of so many environmental defenders in the region. 
 
 The…
Bernardo, a man in his 30s, was born in a quilombo (Afro-Brazilian) community of around 60, men, women, and children in Minas Gerais State, southeast Brazil. Bernardo told Human Rights Watch that he feels powerless against aerial spraying of pesticides. “
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Forty seven member states of the Council of Europe are to decide today whether to initiate sanctions against Azerbaijan for the first time over its persistent refusal to implement a binding European Court of Human Rights judgment. The stakes are high…
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe meets in Strasbourg, France, October 2017.
News
The European Union’s “quiet diplomacy” just got much quieter. With one strongman in particular, it is almost inaudible.
 
 Remarkably, Brussels dragged its feet to inform the public of an upcoming visit by Azerbaijan president Ilham Aliyev, who is…
News
On November 25, the Asian Development Bank's board will decide whether to provide US$1 billion to expand Azerbaijan’s gas fields. A few weeks later, the bank will decide whether to directly fund the government’s budget. The Azerbaijani government has been…
News
At last week’s Asian Development Bank (ADB) annual meeting in Frankfurt, Germany, high level officials highlighted key human rights messages. The Bank’s president, Takehiko Nakao, emphasized the importance of free speech for sustainable development in…
News

 When 50 world leaders roll into town this week for the Nuclear Security Summit, road closures won’t be the biggest headache they cause in Washington. Figuring out how to work in partnership on important security issues while making clear to some of…
News
The European Union’s top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, just visited Azerbaijan, an oil-rich, former Soviet state with a spectacularly terrible human rights record.
 
 Her visit could have been an important milestone for human rights in Azerbaijan…
News

Azerbaijan is decimating its human rights activists, and why not? It’s faced almost no consequences for its repression.

The Kremlin’s sweeping, anti-Western crackdown on freedoms in Russia has made headlines everywhere. Government-fomented anti-Western hysteria is at a height not seen since the Soviet era. The government’s witch hunt to ban “undesirable” foreign groups and…
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Rather than being a catalyst for positive change, the European Games have become a weapon in Baku’s effort to promote itself as progressive while continuing to crush independent voices.
 
 The recent FIFA corruption scandal is not the only major…
News
(Berlin)—In a month’s time, on June 12, Baku, the capital of oil-rich Azerbaijan, will be putting on another glitzy show for international visitors. Three years ago it was the Eurovision Song Contest, now it’s the European Games, an Olympics-style multi-…
News

Facing massive human rights crackdown as the European Games near, EU should call a timeout.

I was dreading my visit to Baku at the end of March. In the 10 months since my last visit, the Azerbaijan authorities have either arrested or imprisoned many of my friends and colleagues there, or driven them into exile or hiding. During the short flight…
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The bold activists around the world who stand up to corporate and government economic interests frequently face a harsh backlash. Individuals and communities are threatened, and activists may be arrested or killed with impunity in retaliation for speaking…
News
The depiction by Azerbaijan’s foreign minister of summer 2014 “as a particularly dark time” in an October 2 speech at the Council of Europe couldn’t have been more fitting to describe the state of human rights in his own country. The minister, Elmar…