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Azerbaijan: UN Universal Periodic Review Submission

(ARTICLE 19/IFEX) - 10 October 2012 - A coalition of international and national non-governmental organisations, led by ARTICLE 19, working together to promote and protect freedom of expression in Azerbaijan as part of the International Partnership Group for Azerbaijan (IPGA), has prepared a submission for the United Nations' Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The submission seeks to make a constructive contribution to the process of preparation of the second UPR of Azerbaijan. ARTICLE 19 coordinated the drafting of the submission, with input from the Association for Progressive Communications and Freedom Now, along with the Baku-based Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety and the Media Rights Institute. This submission is also endorsed by the Committee to Protect Journalists, Freedom House, the Human Rights House Foundation, Index on Censorship, the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, the Media Diversity Institute, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, PEN International, Reporters Without Borders, the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and the Baku-based Human Rights Club.

Given the areas of expertise of these organisations and the focus of this coalition, this submission focuses on Azerbaijan's compliance with its international human rights obligations in respect to freedom of expression.

The IPGA wishes to emphasise that the Azerbaijani government has failed to implement a number of the recommendations it accepted in the first cycle of the UPR. Rather than improving, the human rights situation in Azerbaijan has continued to deteriorate significantly since 2009, and the current state of freedom of expression in the country is alarming. In particular, this submission examines the following key freedom of expression issues:

  • Failure to protect the right to life of journalists
  • Impunity for violence against journalists
  • Violations of the right to private life
  • Politically-motivated arrests and imprisonment
  • Cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment
  • Legislative restrictions on freedom of expression
  • Restrictions on freedom of expression online
  • State control of the media

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Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety
Committee to Protect Journalists
Freedom House
Index on Censorship
PEN International
Reporters Without Borders
World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers

Non-IFEX Signatories

Association for Progressive Communications, Freedom Now, Human Rights House Foundation, Institute for War and Peace Reporting, Media Diversity Institute, Norwegian Helsinki Committee, Human Rights Club

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