Amnesty International published its annual report on the world human rights situation on March 29.
The part concerning Azerbaijan indicates that in the course of the 44-day war in 2020 Baku “regained control over a part of Karabakh and seven surrounding districts”.
At the same time, the organisation notes “a lack of serious progress on investigation of war crimes and other violations of international humanitarian law”.
At the same time, the AI notes the return of about 40,000 people to their homes.
However, there are no adequate conditions for the return of 650 thousand internally displaced persons (Azerbaijanis) due to the presence of mines, destruction of infrastructure and complete disappearance of populated areas.
Also, the AI points out that during the year the persecutions of critics of the Azerbaijani government, pressures on them, dispersal of peaceful protests are ongoing.
Undue restrictions have hampered the work of human rights defenders and NGOs. Gender-based violence, tortures and other forms of ill-treatment are widespread.
There is also evidence of government surveillance over hundreds of journalists, activists through the NSO Group spying programme.
Besides, an international journalistic investigation revealed that members of the ruling family had purchased $700 million worth of property in London through offshore companies.
The report also points to the March 2021 pardon of 625 prisoners, including 38 political prisoners. However, politically motivated persecutions and harassment of critics of the authorities have not abated, and many victims are still imprisoned.
The Azerbaijani authorities have not yet commented on the latest AI report, but have previously rejected allegations of human rights violations as saying that fundamental freedoms are fully respected.