In early October 2013, some 1,300 international observers from 50 different organisations arrived in Azerbaijan to monitor presidential elections. Forty-nine monitoring groups praised the elections as free and fair, meeting European standards.
Azerbaijan’s government has unleashed a massive crackdown on the civil society and media in the wake of the October presidential election, the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS) said today.
With a new round of EU-Uzbekistan human rights talks approaching, International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR) and the International Human Rights Association (IHA) Fiery Hearts Club urge the EU to raise concerns about the unrelenting persecution of independent civil society actors as a matter of priority with its Uzbek counterparts.
Internet freedom is under threat in Azerbaijan as intimidation and harassment of online activists and bloggers, restrictive laws, obstacles to access and politically motivated surveillance are seen to be on the rise, says the Expression Online coalition.
Six years after the EU’s 2007 Strategy for a New Partnership with Central Asia was adopted, Central Asian countries are still far from displaying any genuine democratic momentum. Rights abuses remain endemic and local leaders keep entrenching their autocratic rule.
In a joint call, issued n the eve of the Presidential election, 22 human right organisations and press freedom campaigners warn that the failure of the government of Azerbaijan to respect human rights, including freedom of expression, undermines the democratic legitimacy of the government.