The Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Center (EMDS) has prepared an Annual Fact-Sheet based on information gathered from alternative and open sources on the human rights situation in Azerbaijan. EMDS is a non-governmental organization operating in Azerbaijan to promote human rights and democratic institutions.

Systematic problems in the field of human rights protection in the Republic of Azerbaijan, which have been going on for years, not resolved in 2020. On the contrary, a number of political and socalo-economic rights were under threat, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, which engulfed the world and affected Azerbaijan. During the year, EMDS observed 1,162 human rights violations based on 705 facts. As in previous years, the right to a fair trial and the right to social security were among the most violated. Of the 1,162 violations, 567 were civil and political rights, and 595 were social and economic rights.

The year began with early parliamentary elections and was marked by election traditional election irregularities and post-election pressures. In late February, quarantine measures were launched in the country in connection with the new COVID-19 pandemic and continued intermittently until the end of the year. As a result of numerous measures, a number of citizens’ rights have been legitimately restricted, and businesses have been closed for a long time. For 105 days a year, citizens were able to go out to the streets only with the permission of SMS.¹ However, the pandemic period was accompanied by legitimate restrictions, abuse of quarantine rules by the authorities, and politically motivated punishment of more than 50 government critics and activists.

On September 27, the second Karabakh War began between Azerbaijan and Armenia. During the war, which ended with a tripartite statement signed on November 10, 100 people were killed, 406 were injured and hundreds of houses and facilities were destroyed or damaged as a result of the Armenian armed forces targeting civilians in Azerbaijan.²

For the full report, download the file here