Since 2012, the number of political prisoners in Azerbaijan, a member of the Council of Europe, has increased by approximately 400%. Currently, there are at least 80 political prisoners in jail, down from about 100 at the end of 2014. As the 2015 European Games commence today in Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku, the question remains whether the recent release of political prisoners is only a PR stunt, or the calm before the storm once the Games conclude.
To capture the evolving trends in Azerbaijan’s political repression, JumpStart and Meydan TV
project. The project offers a unique database of people who were jailed for political reasons, who “have dared to uncover corruption, expose the truth, or publicly speak their mind.” The database provides profiles for each of the political prisoners and is searchable by name. The following chart by Prisoners Watch demonstrates how the number of political prisoners has increased over the past two years, but slightly declined on the eve of the European Games.
[Source – Prisoners Watch]