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Azerbaijanis Strive to Build Civil Society Away from Home

Several days after Tural Sadiqli (left), an Azerbaijani dissident blogger and resident of Germany, joined a protest in Berlin this January against visiting Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, his brother was arrested in Baku for alleged possession of 1.5 kilograms of marijuana. Many Azerbaijani expatriates say they prefer to remain politically quiet out of concern for the safety of family members still in Azerbaijan. (Photo: European Platform for Democratic Elections)

The space for freedom of expression in Azerbaijan is now roughly the same size as a jail cell, watchdog groups say. Azerbaijani rights activists and journalists are accordingly fleeing the country in growing numbers.
 
President Ilham Aliyev’s administration has carried out a far-reaching crackdown on all forms of dissent in recent years. The rapid deterioration began amid the Eurovision song contest, which Baku hosted in 2012. The crackdown intensified in the aftermath of the Euromaidan Revolution in Ukraine in early 2014.
 

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Nargiz Rashid is the pseudonym of a freelancer reporter focusing on Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijanis Strive to Build Civil Society Away from Home

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