Azerbaijan

9.3 million people
5,290 USD GNI (PPP)
Internet:
Partly Free
Press:
Not Free
Not Free

News & Updates

written by
Katherin Machalek
Guest blogger

The presidential election in Azerbaijan on October 9 was contorted by rigging, fraud, and other irregularities that blocked any chance for a rotation of power. But it revealed almost nothing new about the former Soviet republic’s hollowed-out governance institutions, as the lack of genuine democracy was well documented before the election. More remarkable is the international community’s mild response to this electoral sham—a disheartening testament to the West’s prioritization of strategic and economic relationships with the oil-rich Caspian Sea state over the protection of human rights and democratic values.

Regions: 

Restrictions on free expression and assembly and reports of ballot stuffing and vote fraud have undermined the credibility of Azerbaijan’s presidential elections. Freedom House calls on the European Union to prioritize human rights and democracy in Azerbaijan at the Eastern Partnership Summit that will take place in November 2013 in Vilnius, and suspend negotiations on visa facilitation for Azerbaijani government officials.

Issues: 
Civil Society, Democratic Governance, Elections, Freedom of Expression, Rule of Law
Regions: 
Eurasia

The use of chemical weapons in Syria and brutal crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, which has claimed more than 1,000 lives, are deeply disturbing events, yet they are just the most glaring examples of a widespread assault on freedom taking place in countries around the world. At times this assault grabs news headlines, as when Russia’s law against “homosexual propaganda” prompted international criticism or a prominent dissident is put on trial. More often, savvy autocrats misuse laws and administrative procedures to subtly restrict civil society groups and silence their critics. Click here to read Daniel Calingaert's op-ed for CNN.

Issues: 
Civil Society, Democratic Governance, Freedom of Association, Rule of Law
Regions: 
Eurasia, Middle East and North Africa, Americas

Khadija Ismayilova, a renowned Azerbaijani investigative journalist and an RFE/RL reporter, has been targeted in another vicious rhetorical attack in the state-run media. Ismayilova, who has been investigating allegations of unethical business dealings of President Ilham Aliyev and questioning the sources of Azerbaijan’s ruling family assets, has been blackmailed and defamed a number of times over the past year, including twice this week.

Issues: 
Civil Society, Freedom of Association, Freedom of Expression, Media Freedom
Regions: 
Eurasia

Signature Reports

Special Reports

Promise and Reversal: The Post-Soviet Landscape Twenty Years On

“Promise and Reversal: The Post-Soviet Landscape Twenty Years On,” marks the 20th anniversary of the failed Soviet coup of August 19, 1991. The retrospective essay examines the changes in the political rights and civil liberties in the former Soviet Union over the last two decades, as well as includes graphs and rankings that illustrate the region's performance in the annual Freedom House publications Freedom in the World and Freedom of the Press. The report  concludes that there is a serious and disturbing failure to embrace democratic institutions in most of the post-Soviet region.

Issues: 
Regions: 

Programs

No programs have been associated with this content.