On April 28, the human rights organization Freedom House published a report on the state of democracy in Europe and the Eurasian region “Transitional Countries -2021”. This report assesses the state of democratic governance in 29 countries from Central Europe to Central Asia, including Azerbaijan.
According to the report, strengthened authoritarian regimes are closed societies; dictators impede political competition and pluralism and are responsible for large-scale violations of basic political and civil human rights.
The situation with human rights in Azerbaijan as unsatisfactory, said based on this report the head of the Civil Rights Institute (CRI), human rights activist Bashir Suleymanli in the Turan program “A Difficult Issue” on April 29, 2021. Suleymanli drew attention to the telephone conversation of US Secretary of State Anthony J. Blinken with President Ilham Aliyev on April 28.
The Secretary of State stressed the importance of respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms. He also noted the importance of continuing the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs to negotiate for a long-term political settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Bashir Suleymanli notes that the expression “strengthening of authoritarianism” in relation to 29 countries is included in the report in one sentence, but the same one sentence is presented as a result of the state of political freedoms in Azerbaijan, based on expert assessments.
Suleymanli says that official Baku sometimes considers criticism of Azerbaijan in international reports to be the result of the influence of the Armenian lobby, but this is not entirely true.
“When preparing the report, international organizations contact representatives of local civil society institutions, partners, conduct monitoring and, as a result, decide on the activities of the civil society institution. Today they assess the situation negatively, suppose that tomorrow it can change in a positive direction,” he said.
Suleymanli says Western countries have more expectations of these countries in terms of democratic disclosure.
However, he believes that responding to criticism with criticism is not an option. More benefits can be gained by taking steps to remedy the situation.
Suleymanli says that the Azerbaijani authorities want the country to be recognized as democratic, without taking any steps in the field of democracy, without solving the problem of blocking websites, political prisoners, and persecuting bloggers.
Source: Turan News Agency