Azerbaijan laws and regulations for nongovernmental organizations created a frame, making impossible for independent groups to fund and carry out their work. Harassment, torture and ill-treatment in custody in total impunity is common, and legal changes reduced the number of lawyers accepting politically sensitive cases.
President Ilham Aliyev (pictured) clearly draws a red line for freedom of speech, and fundamental rights, sending a clear message that anyone who crosses it is charged as a criminal. The situation with fundamental rights in Azerbaijan has been in down spiral for years, while criticism of the regime and especially the Aliyevs family, is a taboo, blocking democratic developments in oil rich Caucasus country.
“Azerbaijan does have a de facto royal family. They pretend the Aliyevs are democratically elected” – writes the son of the assassinated journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, Matthew.