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If You Are Not Silent, You Cannot Visit Azerbaijan: Soon the Second "Black List" Will Appear

If you are busy defending human rights, then your entry to Azerbaijan is prohibited. The entry ban to Azerbaijan of the famous British lawyer showed that we will soon witness a new trend in this country's policy. It turns out that persona non grata for the Azerbaijani authorities are not only the ones who visited Artsakh, but also those who "dared" to criticize the situation of human rights  and freedom in Azerbaijan. British lawyer Remezaite, who was recently deported to London from Baku Airport, is one of them. She has published materials on human rights violations in Azerbaijan, and as a lawyer has repeatedly defended the citizens of Azerbaijan at the European Court. Moreover, Remezaite monitors the execution of judgments of the ECHR in Azerbaijan.

The fact that violations of human rights, restrictions on freedom of speech and other freedoms are at high level in Azerbaijan is not something new for the international community as well. It is no secret that in order to gain control over various spheres of life, including civil society, the Azerbaijani authorities have resorted to various methods. An example of this is a series of changes to the laws on obtaining grants by the non-governmental organizations (NGOs), according to which, if a foreign donor wants to provide a grant to an NGO, it has to sign a contract with the Government of Azerbaijan and open its office in the country.

It is also no news that the international community periodically made critical statements regarding the aforementioned limitations and violations of rights in the neighboring country. However, these statements have not turned into real actions so as they could prevent such a policy of the Azerbaijani authorities.

Perhaps this feeling of impunity "inspires" the Azerbaijani authorities not only to harshly respond to criticism, but also to apply to this kind of actions. Following this logic, Azerbaijan will soon have a second "black list" - already for the critics of Azerbaijan. This, of course, should be a cause of serious concern for the entire international community, in this case for Europe, as its citizens are banned to visit the country just because they criticized the government. This is nothing but a violation of freedom of speech, but this time also at the international level ...

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