Human rights experts from the United Nations have this week spoke out against the actions of Azerbaijan’s government after a recent crackdown aimed at journalists and activists that have spoken out against the current regime.
“We are appalled by the increasing incidents of surveillance, interrogation, arrest, sentencing on the basis of trumped-up charges, assets-freezing and ban on travel of the activists in Azerbaijan,” the team of experts told press.
“The criminalization of rights activists must stop. Those who were unjustifiably detained for defending rights should be immediately freed.”
Among the incidents discussed by the UN team were the arrests of Leyla Yunus, Rasul Jafarov and Intigam Aliyev – who are all currently being as political prisoners.
The team of experts are part of the UN’s ‘Special Procedures’ body that investigate human rights across the world. The team of investigators, academics and experts were tasked with looking into the Azerbaijani regime after the country was given membership to the UN committee on NGOs, something that many have seen as a mistake after the government’s treatment towards foreign charities and organisations.
The condemnation of President Aliyev’s government has been seen as a positive step by some, but has been accused of being a case of too many words and not enough action by many skeptics.