April 21, the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (The Observatory) released new report highlighting recent crackdown against rights defenders, journalists and lawyers in Azerbaijan.
The report is based on the assessments of the fact finding mission visit to Azerbaijan which documented systematic judicial harassment against human rights defenders and journalists; reduced space for civil society and NGOs as a result of restrictive laws on NGOs and grants registration; worrying conditions for lawyers representing human rights defenders and the overall situation of journalists and the media.
The report also profiles a number of prominent cases while concluding, "over the past year, the authorities of Azerbaijan have intensified a systematic crackdown on human rights defenders and other critics. Azerbaijan's presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe has sadly coincided with increased repression against human rights voices and NGOs."
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (OBS) was created in 1997 by FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT). The objective of this programme is to intervene to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rights defenders.