Human Rights Watch calls on the UN Committee against Torture to demand an end to repression of the Baku

Human Rights Watch submitted to the UN Committee against Torture  a memorandum on the situation in Azerbaijan in connection with the preparation of this report by the Committee on the situation in the country,

This memorandum, submitted to the United Nations Committee Against Torture (“the Committee”) ahead of its upcoming review of Azerbaijan, highlights areas of concern Human Rights Watch hopes will inform the Committee’s consideration of the Azerbaijani government’s (“the government’s”) compliance with the International Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (“the Convention”). It contains information on human rights defenders, journalists, independent political leaders, and other perceived government critics arrested as part of the government’s multi-year crackdown on dissent and whose treatment by the authorities contravenes the government’s obligations under the Convention, and proposes specific recommendations that we hope to see the Committee formulate for the government of Azerbaijan.

Human Rights Watch has closely monitored the human rights situation in Azerbaijan for over two decades. A major area of focus of our work in recent years has been the government’s campaign of harassment, intimidation, arrest, and prosecution on spurious charges against independent activists and other perceived critics. As part of this work, we have documented serious violations of Azerbaijan’s international obligations, including the prohibition on torture and other ill-treatment, and have produced reports and other documents describing our research findings. For more information, please seehttp://www.hrw.org/europe/central-asia/azerbaijan.

Also, the UN Committee asked to urge official Baku to unfreeze the bank accounts of dozens of NGOs and to remove all restrictions and violations of their rights.-16D-

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