UN urges Azerbaijan to improve human rights, independence of judiciary

By bne IntelliNews November 7, 2016

The UN Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) released a report highlighting 14 areas related to human rights in which Azerbaijan falls short.

Of particular concern are constitutional and judiciary checks and balance to ensure the protection of human rights in the country, UNHRC highlighted. Specifically, the committee asked Baku to provide evidence for the independence of the ombudsmen, and pointed out reports of arbitrary and politically motivated arrests of civil activists, human rights defenders, opposition politicians, lawyers and journalists.

“In view of persistent reports of lawyers representing victims of torture, human rights defenders or any other cases that are reported to be politically motivated, being disbarred or threatened with disbarment or being subjected to criminal proceedings, please provide detailed information on the introduction of any safeguards to prevent such occurrences, ensure the full independence of lawyers and protect them from retaliation,” the UN agency urged.

Other areas of concern are torture and abuse of prisoners, gender inequality, violence against women, the rights of minorities and refugees and internally displaced persons and rights to participate in public life.

Azerbaijan risks losing its membership in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), a 51-member-country organisation that carries some sway with international lenders over its poor human rights track record. If that happens, Baku may be unable to raise financing from multilateral banks for an important gas exploration and transport project, for which the country is still short of $8bn.

After EITI released a review in October advising the country to ensure civil liberties, Baku continued to intimidate human rights lawyers and to sentence dissenters to lengthy sentences over trumped-up charges. For instance, in early November, a Baku court sentenced a youth activist to a ten-year jail sentence for alleged drug trafficking. The youth was arrested in May, after spray-painting graffiti over a monument dedicated to Heydar Aliyev, the country's late president and the current president's father. 

Related Articles

Azerbaijani president fires powerful transport minister Ziya Mammadov

In a two-line presidential decree issued on February 13, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev announced that a new ministry - that of transport, telecommunications and high technology - ... more

Azerbaijanis rush to convert dollars into manats after burst of appreciation

The unexpected appreciation of the Azerbaijani manat in February has sent banks into a dollar-selling frenzy, sources in Baku have informed bne IntelliNews. In the past week, the manat has ... more

Belarus' extradition of Russian blogger to Azerbaijan strains ties with Kremlin

Belarus on February 7 extradited Russian blogger Aleksandr Lapshin to Azerbaijan, where he ... more

Register here to continue reading this article and 2 more for free or purchase 12 months full website access including the bne Magazine for just $119/year.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address.
A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

To continue viewing our content you need to complete the registration process.

Please look for an email that was sent to with the subject line "Confirmation bne IntelliNews access". This email will have instructions on how to complete registration process. Please check in your "Junk" folder in case this communication was misdirected in your email system.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and magazine

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and monthly magazine, the leading source of business, economic and financial news and commentary in emerging markets.

Your subscription includes:
  • Full access to the bne content daily news and features on the website
  • Newsletters direct to your mailbox
  • Print and digital subscription to the monthly bne magazine
  • Digital subscription to the weekly bne newspaper

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

bne IntelliNews
$119 per year

All prices are in US dollars net of applicable taxes.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Register for free to read bne IntelliNews Magazine. You'll receive a free digital subscription.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address.
A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

IntelliNews Pro offers daily news updates delivered to your inbox and in-depth data reports.
Get the emerging markets newswire that financial professionals trust.

"No day starts for my team without IntelliNews Pro" — UBS

Thank-you for requesting an IntelliNews Pro trial. Our team will be in contact with you shortly.

Dismiss