Quarterly Fact-Sheet on the situation of human rights in Azerbaijan, April-June 2020

During the second quarter of 2020, EMDS recorded 291 human rights violations upon 432 facts based on the analysis of information received from citizen complaints and monitoring of events on human rights violations. In particular, violations regarding the right to a fair trial, social security rights and freedom of expression stood out among others. Out of 432 overall violations, 265 were connected to civil and political rights where social and economic rights were violated in rest 145 of the cases, with 22 as uncategorised

The quarantine period due to COVID-19 pandemic has been the highlight of the quarter. Though the quarantine measures were relaxed in mid-May from time to time new stricter measures were adopted. At the end of the quarter, there were 7596 confirmed cases of people infected with coronavirus with 213 dead. The quarantine period, in general, was accompanied by the abuse of quarantine measures by relevant state bodies in a new wave of political pressure

The total restrictions brought upon freedom of expression, assembly and other rights were not lifted, whereas enjoyment of these freedoms was somehow legitimately restricted under the COVID-19 response measures.

EMDS continued to monitor the violations of human rights during the pandemic bases on analysis of citizen complaints and information from open sources and regularly informed the public on the COVID-19 response actions to be abused against the government opponents and activists

The quarter is to be remembered with traditional human rights violations whereas the political arrests and violations concerning social rights during COVID-19 pandemic were especially the highlights. As stressed, the number of recorded violations of freedom of expression and social security rights were 2-3 times higher than the numbers in the previous quarter. Bureaucratic challenges, artificial hindrances by state officials in government bodies alongside formal court trials continued to be the main reason for the violation of human rights.

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