[:en]On July 30, US Ambassador to the OSCE James Gilmore, in his message to the OSCE Permanent Council, touched upon the facts of repression against the opposition in Azerbaijan and a number of other countries.
Freedom of expression is under attack in some OSCE countries, and “fake news” laws are being used to suppress civil society representatives, the opposition and anyone who wants to speak out on public issues, he said.
“The Azerbaijani authorities have detained journalists, opposition figures and activists, including those who criticized the government’s response to CoViD-19. The Azerbaijani authorities are also trying to intimidate and punish those who demand more transparency from the government or simply exercise their right to freedom of expression.
For example, this week Azerbaijani NGOs reported that the authorities began a new wave of arrests of members of the political opposition and others, accusing them of attempting a coup d’etat or violating the quarantine regime,” Gilmore said.
According to NGOs, there are more than 100 political prisoners in Azerbaijan, including opposition activists Tofig Yagublu and Saleh Rustamov, who have health problems, which makes them especially vulnerable to CoViD-19, Gilmore said.