656 pages, 90 countries - in its 25th issue, Human Rights Watch looks at human rights practices around the globe summarizing key issues based on extensive investigative work.
In its chapter on Azerbaijan, HRW concludes, "The Azerbaijani government escalated repression against its critics, marking a dramatic deterioration in its already poor rights record. The authorities convicted or imprisoned at least 33 human rights defenders, political and civil activists, journalists, and bloggers on politically motivated charges, prompting others to flee the country or go into hiding. Authorities froze the bank accounts of independent civic groups and their leaders, impeded their work by refusing to register foreign grants, and imposed foreign travel bans on some. Many of those detained complained of ill-treatment in police custody. Many organisations, including several leading rights groups, were forced to cease activities."
Giorgi Gogia, senior South Caucasus researcher said, "In the past year, Azerbaijan's government intensified a systematic crackdown on human rights defenders and other critics" adding "Azerbaijan’s role within the Council of Europe was a sad charade with increased repression against domestic critics, and this needs to end."