“The Line of Defence: Situation around human rights protection remained extremely difficult in November

December 6th, 2021

The human rights situation in Azerbaijan remained extremely difficult in November. This is stated in the monthly report of the NGO ‘Line of Defense’.

“In particular, political freedoms are not respected, there is no real freedom of assembly, freedom of speech and expression, conscience, press and information.

Illegal punishments, politically motivated administrative or criminal persecution, tortures, inhuman and degrading treatment in law enforcement bodies, especially in police, isolation wards and penitentiary institutions have become commonplace,” the report reads.

In particular, Mutallim Orudzhev and Malik Rzayev, activists repatriated from abroad, who emigrated due to political repressions, were prosecuted on trumped-up charges. They were tortured in order to give “confessions”.

The report highlights the hunger strike by political prisoner Saleh Rustamov, who protested against being granted amnesty on Victory Day, despite the fact that Rustamov is a veteran of the first Karabakh war.

“The Line of Defense” considers the prosecution of Rustamov for providing material assistance to the families of political prisoners to be unfounded and politically motivated.

“It is necessary to ensure the equality of all before the law and the courts, remove obstacles and interference by state authorities in the freedom of assembly, conscience, speech and expression. Cases of tortures should be investigated with particular care, and the perpetrators should be identified and brought to justice,” the report says.

In turn, the Azerbaijani government says that all fundamental human rights and freedoms are fully guaranteed in the country. Law-enforcement agencies consider the information on torture facts as biased.