Azerbaijan: Aliyev Bristles at Criticism by Freedom House

Washington

In response to President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan criticizing Freedom House for its reports on his growing authoritarianism and his government’s tightening restrictions on civil liberties and political rights, Freedom House issued the following statement:

“President Aliyev is the person most responsible for Azerbaijan’s appalling human rights record of the last decade, including the baseless imprisonment of civil society activists and efforts to stifle all political dissent,” said Daniel Calingaert, acting president. “Aliyev has remained in power thanks to sham elections while family members have enriched themselves. Freedom House will continue to do its work of bringing greater attention to his government’s abuses.”

Background:
On September 20, 2016, a news agency based in Azerbaijan quoted Aliyev criticizing the European Parliament, the Organization and Security and Co-operation in Europe, and Freedom House, for their criticisms of questionable elections and violations of fundamental human rights.

Azerbaijan is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2016, Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2016, Partly Free inFreedom on the Net 2015, and receives a democracy score of 6.86 on a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 as the worst possible score, in Nations in Transit 2016.

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

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