Many countries in the region have been suppressing voices and movements that are critical of governments as they seek to demonstrate their success in economic development. Azerbaijan is one such country where the government has also restricted the work of all independent civil society organizations (CSOs). For the past decade, authorities have prosecuted hundreds of activists, journalists, and public figures on politically motivated charges, such as drug possession, tax evasion, illegal entrepreneurship, and even treason.
UPDATE: In May 2017, a group of local civil society organizations issued an updated report stating that there are currently more than 120 political prisoners in Azerbaijan, some of which are highlighted below. Please see full list here.
Kidnapped May 29, 2017
Bayram Mammadov and Giyas Ibrahimov
Detained May 9, 2017
Detained August 18, 2016