Geopolitical powerplay continues as Azerbaijan shells Armenian territories

Armenia has said that Armenian soldiers have been killed during new hostilities in its border region with Azerbaijan in the night of 12-13 September. Both Armenia and Azerbaijan blame each other for the escalation. The clashes are an unprecedented escalation in the tense Armenian-Azerbaijani relationship since the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war. EU and US officials call for ‘de-escalation’, while Russia attempts to solidify its presence in the region.

Armenia and Azerbaijan challenge each other in front of the International Court of Justice

The long standing conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan has entered a new stage now that the countries are challenging each other in front of the International Court of Justice (ICJ). On the 16th of September 2021, Armenia started proceedings against Azerbaijan in front of the ICJ alleging a breach of the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD). According to a statement of the ICJ, Armenia argues that “For decades, Azerbaijan has subjected Armenians to racial discrimination” and that, “as a result of this State-sponsored policy of Armenian hatred, Armenians have been subjected to systemic discrimination, mass killings, torture and other abuse”. Armenia and Azerbaijan are both signatories to the CERD.

State crackdown against Azerbaijani LGBT community

At least 80 Azerbaijani gay and transgender people were arrested in pubs, bars, and LGBT-friendly clubs, according to the authorities to ‘’protect national moral value’’. However, local activists and human rights groups say the detentions are part of a state crackdown against the LGBT community. Much of the situation with respect to the detainees remains unclear.

Family of an Aliyev critic arrested in Azerbajian

According to information derived from the Institute for Peace and Democracy (IPD) – currently based in the Netherlands and run by human rights defenders Leyla and Arif Yunus - on February 18th 2017, twelve people were brought to the police station of Surakhani district in Baku. All twelve are from one family and are between the ages of 2 and 67 years old. According to the Institute they were beaten and tortured.

Interview with Leyla and Arif Yunus: Azeri dissidents and human rights activists

On 14 November, Foundation Max van der Stoel had the honour to meet Azeri dissidents and human rights activists Leyla and Arif Yunus. It has been one year since Arif was released from prison in Azerbaijan, on 12 November 2015, and FMS asked Leyla and Arif about their story and views on the human rights situation in Azerbaijan, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the plans for the future.

Victims of political repressions in Azerbaijan need your help

After a former KGB general Heydar Aliyev came to power in Azerbaijan in 1993 – political repressions started. In 2003 the father was followed by his son, Ilham Aliev and repressions against dissidents became systematic. Human rights defenders of Azerbaijan regularly compose lists of prisoners of conscience and political prisoners. Among them – Leyla and Arif Yunus, a couple of Azeri dissidents and human rights activists, who are now refugees in the Netherlands.

Possible ceasefire after four days of heavy fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh

On April 5th a ceasefire was reached between Azerbaijan and separatist forces in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. On April 2nd intense fighting broke out in the Armenian populated Nagorno-Karabakh enclave inside Azerbaijan. Although this is not the first violation of the truce, signed in 1994 by both Armenia and Azerbaijan, it looked like a full-scale war with tanks and drones marking a significant difference from the previous gunfire incidents over the years.

Azerbaijan civil society calls for action after death of journalist

An Azerbaijani journalist Rasim Aliyev, age 30, died from internal bleeding in a Baku hospital on August 9 after being beaten the previous day by what he said was a group of supporters of the Qabala FK soccer player Cavid Huseynov. Aliyev said he was attacked due to the criticism he made of Huseynov on his Facebook page. Police have detained several suspects, including Huseynov’s cousin Elsan Ismayilov. Sport for Rights called Aliyev's death a "murder" that shows "critical voices are at greater risk now than ever before". The incident has hit the rock-bottom when it comes to human rights situation in Azerbaijan.

Movie night: "Age of Delirium", the collapse of the Soviet Union

On 21 September Blinibioscoop and Foundation Max van der Stoel are organising a screening of documentary film "Age of Delirium," which focusses on the fall of the Soviet Union, followed by a panel discussion. The film screening will begin at 15:00, the panel at 17:00, to be followed by the Bliniscoop traditional pancakes. Entrance fee is 5 Euros, and includes pancakes. The working language will be English.

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