Azerbaijan: shrinking or lost spaces for opposition?

Azerbaijan: shrinking or lost spaces for opposition?

Political activities of the opposition, critical journalism and independent activism have no space in Azerbaijan. Many human rights defenders are arrested and their activities and funding options are lacking a legal basis.

Azerbaijan’s government continues to wage a vicious crackdown on critics and dissenting voices. The release of some wrongly-imprisoned human rights defenders, activists, and journalists in 2016 did not lead to a shift in the government’s punitive attitude towards independent activists and groups. According to Human Rights Watch Azerbaijani’s international partners have failed to demand human rights improvements, in contrast their financial funding of the Azerbaijani’s government, including the extractive industries, would increase, regardless of the precarious situation on human rights.

With guests from Azerbaijan and regional experts we want to discuss about the human rights situation, left options of democratization and the task of international institutions.

From June, 15. – July, 1. 2017 Heinrich Boell Foundation ist hosting the art project ”Drawing for Freedom”, the thematic focus of the exhibition is political prisoners in Azerbaijan. The discussion is followed by an excursion through the exhibition.


  • Anar Mammadli, former political prisoner, human rights activist, Baku
  • Gerald Knaus, European Stability Initiative (ESI)
  • Rebecca Vincent, Reporter Without Borders (RSF), UK Bureau
  • Berit Lindeman, Helsinki Committee, Norway

Moderation: Walter Kaufmann, head of Eastern and Southeastern Division of Heinrich Boell Foundation.


Katja Giebel
Eastern and Southeastern Division
Heinrich Boell Foundation
Tel: +49(0)3028534388