On May 12, Amnesty International released a statement calling to stop gender-based reprisals in Azerbaijan.
“Women human rights defenders have faced threats, coercion, violations of their right to privacy and smear campaigns that are gender-specific and target them as women. This type of gender-based violence and discrimination aims to silence their critical voices and discredit their work. It also seeks to punish them for speaking out as women,” reads the statement.
The statement documents the recent attacks and harassment women activists have faced for their work, outspokenness, or for simply being family members of government critics.
AIW reported on these attacks previously:
February 26, 2021 – Activist’s personal messages leaked after hacking [update March 9];
March 25, 2021 – Exiled blogger continues to receive threats [updated March 31];
April 14, 2021 – Activists trolled for exposing child abuse in Azerbaijan;
The report concludes that:
Azerbaijan has an obligation under international human rights law to take all appropriate measures to prevent gender-based violence and other human rights violations against women, including violations of their right to privacy. The Azerbaijani authorities must conduct a prompt, impartial and effective investigation into each and every reported incident of such violence, as well as of instances of reported discrimination or harassment of women, in order to identify and bring to justice in fair proceedings anyone reasonably suspected of being culpable or complicit in such acts, whether they are private individuals or members of security services or other state officials. Women who have suffered these violations should be provided with effective remedies and reparations including restitution, compensation, rehabilitation and guarantees of non-repetition. Azerbaijan must ensure that every person’s rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly are respected and that women are able to fully enjoy these rights, including in the form of women’s marches.