Stepanakert, Nagorno-Karabakh. Editorial Credit: N.Petrosyan /


The Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Artsakh, has enjoyed de facto independence from Azerbaijan since a 1994 cease-fire agreement ended roughly two years of open warfare, though its independence is not recognized by any UN member states. The territory’s population is mostly ethnic Armenian, and given its geographical and diplomatic isolation, it is dependent on close political, economic, and military ties with Armenia. The tense security situation, with regular cease-fire violations and an ongoing threat of war, has had a negative effect on political rights and civil liberties and provided authorities with a pretext to consolidate their own power.

FIW 2021 crop 2 cover photo

Freedom in the World — Nagorno-Karabakh Territory Report

Nagorno-Karabakh is rated Partly Free in Freedom in the World, Freedom House's annual study of political rights and civil liberties worldwide. 

* Indicates a territory as opposed to an independent country.