"Azerbaijan Accused Of Media Crackdown Before Hosting Cop29"

"State reportedly arrested at least 25 journalists and activists in last year as it prepares for September climate summit".

"Azerbaijan’s government has been accused of cracking down on media and civil society activism before the country’s hosting of crucial UN climate talks later this year.

Human Rights Watch has found at least 25 instances of the arrest or sentencing of journalists and activists in the past year, almost all of whom remain in custody.

Many campaigners and civil society groups have spoken of their concerns that climate advocacy was being stifled amid a media clampdown. Azerbaijan will host the UN Cop29 climate summit over two weeks in November, when nearly 200 governments, including dozens of heads of state, are expected to thrash out a new global approach to providing the funds needed to tackle the climate crisis.

Azerbaijan, an authoritarian state where media and civic freedoms are curtailed, is regarded as one of the world’s most corrupt countries, coming 154th out of 180 states in a ranking by Transparency International last year. There is little effective political opposition and the president, Ilham Aliyev, won more than 92% of the vote in elections in February to take a fifth consecutive term. His father was Heydar Aliyev, who led the country under Soviet rule and was installed as president after a military coup in 1993 followed the breakup of the eastern bloc."

Fiona Harvey reports for the Guardian June 12, 2024.

Source: Guardian, 06/14/2024