Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan’s Rights Activists on the Brink

When Azerbaijan served as chair of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers, it scoffed at the spirit and purpose of the organisation and moved vigorously to squash all forms of free speech at home.

OPINION: For Azerbaijan, Time to Address the Potential Salafi Danger

Earlier in October, Azerbaijani news media reported the death of a professional Azerbaijani wrestler, Rashad Bakhshaliyev, who was killed in Syria while fighting for the Islamic State. The news, which came as a surprise to many in Azerbaijan, underscores an emerging security threat for Azerbaijan.

Karabakh Question Clouds Armenia’s Eurasian Union Accession

Armenia has finalised its accession to the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union, an intended regional counterweight to the European Union. But while Armenian and Russian officials focus on future prosperity, some Armenian observers believe membership in the bloc could exacerbate Armenia’s security challenges.

Azerbaijan Pursues Drones, New Security Options

Heightened tensions with longtime foe Armenia over breakaway Nagorno Karabakh and mediator Russia’s Ukrainian adventure appear to be pushing Caspian-Sea energy power Azerbaijan ever more strongly toward a military strategy of self-reliance.

In Azerbaijan, ‘Family Is the First Fear’ of LGBT Community

The 19-year-old Azerbaijani man claims he awoke one morning in mid-August to the sound and feel of gasoline splashing on his body and his mother angrily screaming. Through a sleepy haze, he saw her burning a piece of paper. Suddenly, he alleged, his mother’s intentions became clear; he was about to be burned to death for being homosexual.

Azerbaijan: Human Rights Plummet to New Low

Azerbaijan in recent months has launched a clear assault against various civil society activists and non-governmental organisations. While rough treatment of critics is nothing new in this energy-rich South-Caucasus country, one question remains unanswered: Why pick up the pace now?

Azerbaijan’s Rights Situation Deteriorating, Group Warns

The Azerbaijan government crackdown on civil society has worsened in recent months, human rights campaigners are warning, and activists are increasingly falling victim to official efforts to limit dissent.

Azerbaijan Backing Turkey’s Crackdown on Gülen Movement

Azerbaijan appears to be joining in Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s campaign against a religious movement led by U.S.-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen.

Suicide Brings Azerbaijan’s LGBT Community Out of the Closet

The suicide of a gay rights activist in Azerbaijan is prompting the country’s LGBT community to become more assertive in fighting for civil rights.

Moscow Murder Investigation Stokes Anti-Russian Sentiment

Public anger is building in Azerbaijan over Russia’s rough treatment of an ethnic Azeri accused of murder. The incident likely will scuttle any chance, however remote, that Baku will join the Moscow-led Customs Union.

In Azerbaijan, Putting Inauguration Ahead of the Vote

A man who declined to campaign in the weeks before Azerbaijan’s presidential election on Wednesday is already gearing up for his inauguration ceremony.

In Azerbaijan, a Presidential Campaign in Name Only?

There are three weeks to go before energy-rich Azerbaijan’s presidential vote on Oct. 9, but a race is nowhere to be seen. No political ads adorn the capital, Baku, and no candidate spots are running on private TV channels. The incumbent strongman, 51-year-old Ilham Aliyev, is not even bothering to run an active campaign.

Opposition Journalists in Azerbaijan Face Free-Flat Conflict

In Azerbaijan, opposition journalists have long been beaten, blackmailed and some even killed. But now, it appears a few are being bought.

OP-ED: EU and Azerbaijan, Setting the Record Straight

At a cabinet meeting in mid-July, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev lashed out at the European Parliament for supposedly conducting a “dirty campaign” against Baku. The shrill tone of Aliyev’s comments indicates that European pressure on Azerbaijan to respect basic rights is stinging the Aliyev administration.

OP-ED: A Double Standard Won’t Do for Baku

Kseniya Sobchak, a well-known Russian political activist and social butterfly, is an outspoken critic of Russian leader Vladimir Putin. But, curiously, she seems to be taking a much softer line on Azerbaijan’s authoritarian-minded ruler, Ilham Aliyev.

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