Azerbaijan government in crackdown on activists ahead of presidential elections
Monday 02 September 2013
The government has intensified a crackdown on activists and journalists to stifle criticism of the long-term leader Ilham Aliyev before presidential elections in October, Human Rights Watch said on Monday.
Authorities in the oil-rich South Caucasus nation have arrested dozens on trumped-up charges, dispersed anti-government rallies and adopted laws curbing freedom of speech and assembly in the past 18 months, the organisation said in a report.
The authorities could not be reached for comment, but Baku has repeatedly denied abusing human rights in the past.
“Prosecuting people who criticise the authorities and report on issues of public interest is a cynical and transparent attempt to stifle government critics,” Giorgi Gogia, a researcher for Human Rights Watch said.
The nation, ruled by Mr Aliyev since he succeeded his father in 2003, has been courted by Western powers because of its role as an alternative to Russia in supplying oil and gas to Europe. Mr Aliyev, 51, is almost certain to win the October election.
- 1 Toddler throws a tantrum at the White House – in front of Barack Obama
- 2 Irish people are travelling home from all over the world so they can vote to legalise gay marriage
- 3 Picture of couple posing with beached dolphin 'that later died' causes outrage
- 4 16-year-old girl beaten and burned alive by lynch mob in Rio Bravo, Guatemala
- 5 Witch doctor arrested after forcing newborn baby to walk in Indian village
Toddler throws a tantrum at the White House – in front of Barack Obama
Maryland mother found pushing her dead child on a swing in a playground
16-year-old girl beaten and burned alive by lynch mob in Rio Bravo, Guatemala
Picture of couple posing with beached dolphin 'that later died' causes outrage
Nicola Sturgeon did want David Cameron to win the general election, report concludes
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...