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U.S. Bill Seeks Sanctions on Azerbaijani Officials for 'Appalling' Rights Record

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

WASHINGTON -- A U.S. lawmaker has introduced legislation that would deny U.S. visas to senior Azerbaijani officials due to what he calls Baku's "appalling human rights violations."
 
U.S. Representative Chris Smith (Republican-New Jersey) introduced the bill, titled the Azerbaijan Democracy Act of 2015, in the House of Representatives on December 16.
 
“The human rights situation has seriously deteriorated in Azerbaijan, causing damage to its relations with the United States and other countries, and has damaged its own society by imprisoning or exiling some of its best and brightest citizens,” Smith told a hearing of Congress's Helsinki Commission held in conjunction with the announcement of the legislation.
 
“The time has come to send a clear message,” he added at the hearing, which was dedicated to the case of investigative journalist and RFE/RL contributor Khadija Ismayilova.
 
Ismayilova's imprisonment in Azerbaijan has been denounced by Western officials and international rights advocates.
 

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Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

U.S. Bill Seeks Sanctions on Azerbaijani Officials for 'Appalling' Rights Record

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