Azerbaijan’s human rights record did not improve in 2022, Human Rights Watch said in a report on Azerbaijan for 2022. “In May, authorities released more than 20 individuals imprisoned on politically motivated and bogus charges. But at least 30 others remained wrongfully imprisoned while authorities continued to target its critics and other dissenting voices.
Restrictive laws continued to impede nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) from operating independently. Other persistent human rights problems included systemic torture and ill-treatment in custody and restrictions on media freedoms.
In July, amid an energy crisis spurred by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its manipulation of the country’s hydrocarbon supplies, the European Union signed a deal with Azerbaijan aimed at increasing the country’s gas exports to Europe. The EU did not use ongoing negotiations on a broad bilateral agreement to secure human rights improvements.
Fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces broke out in mid-September when Azerbaijan made incursions into Armenia. The fighting marked one of several breakdowns of the Russia-brokered 2020 truce that ended hostilities over the unresolved Nagorno-Karabakh war. A video authenticated by Human Rights Watch showed the extrajudicial execution of at least seven Armenian soldiers, apparently by Azerbaijani forces, during this fighting.
Sporadic incidents of military hostilities continued to threaten the safety and livelihoods of civilians residing in villages in Nagorno-Karabakh and along the Armenia-Azerbaijan border” the Organization said. Read the full report here