Freedom House again assigned Azerbaijan to the group of “not free” countries

Baku/04.03.20/Turan: The international human rights organization Freedom House on March 4 published an annual report on the state of affairs in the world with human rights.

According to the document, in 2019 the number of countries that have made progress in the field of political and civil rights doubled.

Already the 14th year in the field of "global freedom" has been deteriorating.

Forty-nine countries are classified as “non-free countries”. Among them, Azerbaijan is also in company with Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and others.

The report also touched upon the extraordinary parliamentary elections held this year.

Some leading opposition forces boycotted the election.

The New Azerbaijan Party, headed by President Ilham Aliyev, received 71 seats in the 125-seat parliament. In the Milli Majlis there were 41 more independent candidates supporting the ruling party, and 12 people from small parties.

Elections were accompanied by violations of the law, including intimidation of journalists.

The organization believes that the political atmosphere in Azerbaijan is neither pluralistic nor competitive.

Opportunities for candidates to hold rallies were limited.

“The authoritarian system of Azerbaijan deprives the public of real political participation.

The regime for protecting political power abuses the use of state resources, corruption networks and security forces and controls the justice system,” the report further says.

The political system does not allow women and groups of national minorities in an independent form to take the initiative and protect their interests.

Freedom of expression and the press are systematically violated; defamation is still criminally punishable.

Journalists and their loved ones face violence and intimidation. Some of them have been arrested on trumped-up charges, while others face restrictions on travel abroad.

Independent sites are periodically blocked.

Limitations are also faced by artists. In December 2019, rapper Pasteur (Parviz Guluzade) was arrested for 30 days after performing a song with political overtones.

The blog of Mehman Huseynov who carried out an action in defense of the rapper was detained and beaten.

Azerbaijani authorities reject criticism of the human rights situation in the country and affirm respect for democratic freedoms. -16d-

 

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