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Monitoring Group Tells UN to Hold Azerbaijan to Account

Azerbaijan -- Policemen use water cannons to break up the crowd of protesters during a rally in Baku, 10Mar2013
The International Partnership Group on Azerbaijan, coordinated by the media monitoring group Article 19, has called on the UN to hold Azerbaijan accountable during its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on 30 April 2013, claiming that the image Azerbaijan has presented of itself at the UPR "fails to reflect the reality for ordinary people in Azerbaijan."

Regarding freedom of expression in Azerbaijan, the Group says, "...journalists, writers, bloggers and human rights defenders and protesters who have expressed critical or opposing opinions have continued to be arrested, detained and/or imprisoned. They are regularly harassed and subject to attacks while carrying out their work."

In a statement released yesterday, the Group reviewed Azerbaijan's official submission to the UPR, calling into question its presentation of facts and implementation of Azeri constitutional guarantees and international commitiments; and highlighting the imprisonment currently of seven journalists in Azerbaijan.

An RFE/RL press release issued on April 26 documents persistent efforts to defame, harass and intimidate several of its correspondents and staff members, including Khadija Ismayilova, Yafez Hasanov and Babek Bakirov.

For RFE/RL's latest reporting on Azerbaijan, click here.