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Access commentary on UN Working Group visit to Azerbaijan

Author: Access, Published on: 25 August 2014

UN investigates business and human rights in Azerbaijan, 22 Aug 2014

This week, Azerbaijan is hosting experts from the UN’s Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises “to examine the impact of business activities on human rights in the country.” 

No stranger to UN inquiries, this CIS-region dictatorship has been the subject of a wide range of human rights reviews in recent years. Just this week, three UN experts condemned the “wave of politically-motivated repression” against human rights activists in the country.

This is the first business and human rights inquiry there, however, though Access has called out the country in the past for its surveillance state. The oil-rich former Soviet republic’s information and communications technology (ICT) sector remains susceptible to government pressure, resulting in restrictions on the human rights of journalists, activists, and ordinary users. These abuses lead to harsh knock-on effects, including arbitrary arrest and torture. 

Access recently shared our concerns in a letter to the UN Working Group, and recommended it focus its inquiry on Azerbaijan’s obligations to protect the human rights to free expression and privacy online...

[refers to TeliaSonera, Azercell]

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