U.S. Congress strongly criticizes Azerbaijani authorities
YEREVAN, MAY 12, ARMENPRESS. Azerbaijan is using the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as an excuse to carry out political pressures and limit the freedom of speech in the country, Congressman Alcee L. Hastings and Senator Roger Wicker, co-chairs of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, said in a statement, Voice of America reports.
“During this pandemic, public health precautions do not excuse politically-motivated repression. We are deeply troubled by reports that the Government of Azerbaijan is further squeezing its people’s access to free expression, media, and information through arrests, fines, harassment, and possibly torture. Authorities should cease exploiting this global crisis to limit the speech of members of the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan and other activists and reporters”, the statement says.
The statement of the U.S. Congress’ Commission says “in recent weeks, Azerbaijani authorities have detained, questioned, jailed, fined, and, in one case possibly tortured opposition members and journalists”.