Azerbaijan

9.3 million people
5,290 USD GNI (PPP)
Internet:
Partly Free
Press:
Not Free
Not Free

News & Updates

Freedom House urges Azerbaijani authorities to facilitate peaceful demonstrations and respect citizens’ rights to freedom of expression and association following protests on March 1 in Quba, Azerbaijan, during which seven journalists were injured and more than 50 people arrested.

The fatal stabbing of Azerbaijani journalist Rafig Taghi is a blow to press freedom and the latest in a series of troubling events that underscore the worsening human rights situation in Azerbaijan.

It is an increasingly common occurrence for repressive countries with dismal human rights records to put themselves forward as hosts for major international forums—whether in the sphere of sports and entertainment or in politics.

Despite a May 2011 ruling prohibiting its destruction, a building in Baku, Azerbaijan that housed three NGOs: the Institute for Peace and Democracy, the Azerbaijan Campaign to Ban Landmines and the Women’s Crisis Center, was destroyed on August 11. The demolition was part of a two-year “beautification” campaign demolishing homes and businesses instigated by the mayor of Baku and condemned by the United Nations High Commissioner as well as human rights groups. City officials reportedly did not give tenants warning or allow them remove their belongings before demolition began. Anti-corruption campaigns spearheaded by NGOs could be a potential factor in the demolition.

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Experts

Director, Europe and Eurasia programs

Marc Behrendt is the Director for Europe and Eurasia programs at Freedom House, with over 20 years of experience working in the Eurasia region in peacebuilding, governance and human rights.

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Signature Reports

Special Reports

Promise and Reversal: The Post-Soviet Landscape Twenty Years On

“Promise and Reversal: The Post-Soviet Landscape Twenty Years On,” marks the 20th anniversary of the failed Soviet coup of August 19, 1991. The retrospective essay examines the changes in the political rights and civil liberties in the former Soviet Union over the last two decades, as well as includes graphs and rankings that illustrate the region's performance in the annual Freedom House publications Freedom in the World and Freedom of the Press. The report  concludes that there is a serious and disturbing failure to embrace democratic institutions in most of the post-Soviet region.

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