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Gulnara Akhundova

Gulnara Akhundova

HRD, Programme Manager
International Media Support

Azerbaijan wants to be at the table with Western nations when money is up for grabs, but it hasn't acquired the same taste for values about human rights and dignity.

Gulnara Akhundova is a human rights defender with wide-ranging international advocacy expertise. Akhundova has reported on and advocated for scores of Azerbaijani writers and journalists who have been censored, threatened, intimidated, unjustly prosecuted, imprisoned, attacked, blackmailed, or murdered. She has authored and co-authored a number of reports and research pieces on freedom of expression, freedom of the Internet and freedom of the media. Akhundova is based in Copenhagen and serves as program manager at Eastern Europe, South Caucasus and Central Asia Department at the International Media Support (IMS).

Rasul Jafarov

The space for human rights defenders (HRDs) and NGOs has been steadily shrinking in Azerbaijan. A number of legislative amendments have been adopted in recent years that restrict the work of HRDs and put their activities under strict governmental control. The roundup of the most prominent HRDs and their subsequent trials and imprisonment indicate that Azerbaijan is well on the road towards authoritarianism, seemingly adopting a Russian-style contempt of civil society.