Open Azerbaijan

Online Journal


25.01.2018 / Authorities Stifle Critics, Impede Work of Independent Groups

The Azerbaijani government sentenced at least 25 journalists and political and youth activists to long prison terms in politically motivated, unfair trials in 2017, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2018.

Draconian laws and regulations on nongovernmental organizations made it almost impossible for independent groups to fund and carry out their work. In a violent campaign, police arrested and ill-treated dozens of gay men and transgender women to coerce bribes and other information. Torture and ill-treatment in custody with impunity is common, and legal changes reduced the number of lawyers willing to take politically sensitive cases.