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International

Azerbaijan has significant human rights issues; killings, torture․ US State Department

15:28, Wednesday, 31 March, 2021
Azerbaijan has significant human rights issues; killings, torture․ US State Department

Azerbaijan has significant human rights issues, including unlawful and arbitrary killings, torture, arbitrary interference with privacy, politically motivated reprisal against individuals outside the country, restriction on freedom of expression and the press, the Biden Administration announced Tuesday in its first annual review of how the world's governments treat their people.
     On Azerbaijan, the U.S. report highlights significant human rights issues, such as political prisoners, corruption, pervasive problems with the independence of the judiciary, violence against journalists, the criminalization of libel and slander, harassment and incarceration of journalists on questionable charges, and blocking of websites, among other concerns.
     "From May 15 [2020] through the morning of May 19, the news websites Turan.az and its affiliate Contact.az experienced a massive cyberattack and were blocked twice. The attack took place after the websites published articles criticizing the government's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic," reads the report.
     According to the authors, significant human rights issues connected with the Nagorno-Karabakh armed conflict included unlawful killings, civilian casualties, and inhuman treatment.
     "The government [of Azerbaijan] did not prosecute or punish most officials who committed human rights abuses; impunity remained a problem."

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