Dethroned Azerbaijani Elites Made Big Investments in Europe

When Eldar Mahmudov fell out of favor with Azerbaijan’s government, he fell hard.
In October 2015, the country’s national security minister was dismissed from his powerful role by a presidential order. Within days, wild stories peppered local media outlets about raids on his villa, where police discovered glass jars full of diamonds and cardboard boxes stuffed with foreign currency. His ministry associates were reportedly arrested on various charges linked to corruption and extortion, and a statue honoring his late father — a famous economist — was unceremoniously demolished.

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Freedom of Speech and Human Rights in Azerbaijan

In Azerbaijan, human rights defenders and NGOs have less and less space for activity. In recent years, amendments to laws have been adopted that impose restrictions on the work of human rights defenders and strict state control over it. The arrests of the most famous human rights defenders and the subsequent trials that ended in prison terms show that Azerbaijan is confidently moving towards authoritarianism, apparently taking over from Russia its neglect of civil society.

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