‘Azerbaijan is ruled by authoritarian regime controlled by single family, the Aliyevs’ – Freedom House
YEREVAN, MARCH 21, ARMENPRESS. International organizations Freedom House and Human Rights Watch have published their 2021 reports on Azerbaijan.
The report of the Human Rights Watch says after the 2020 Nagorno Karabakh war, the truce is largely held, but “periodic skirmishes made for a fragile situation on the post-war front lines”.
The report also says that Azerbaijan started reconstruction works in areas that came under its control following the war. It also notes that “ethnic Armenians face risk of injury or captivity when they travel, tend to livestock, or engage in farming near the front lines”.
“These and other issues, including Nagorno Karabakh’s long-term status, perpetuated tensions and pointed to the need for greater international involvement”, Human Rights Watch said.
The report also notes that in March, the Azerbaijani government released, under a presidential pardon, nearly 40 opposition activists, religious believers, journalists, human rights defenders, and other perceived critics imprisoned on politically motivated charges. “But dozens of others remained wrongfully imprisoned, while authorities targeted critics and other dissenting voices”, it added.
In its Freedom On The Net 2021, the Freedom House rated Azerbaijan as “not free”.
“Azerbaijan is ruled by an authoritarian regime controlled by a single family, the Aliyevs, who have been in power for almost three decades. While occasionally taking actions to placate Western critics, the government has never undertaken structural reforms”, the Freedom House said.
“Corruption is rampant, and the formal political opposition has been weakened by years of persecution. The authorities have carried out an extensive crackdown on civil liberties in recent years, leaving little room for independent expression or activism”, the Freedom House said.