An interesting analysis posted by Caucasus Elections Watch: on an increasingly active civil society in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan has kept historically a tight grip on the extent to which civic organizations can express dissenting viewpoints. This latest call for greater accountability from decision making is worth watching, both for Azerbaijan and the greater Caucasus region.
For many years street protests were the way that Azerbaijanis vented their political opinions. But opportunities for that have become increasingly limited, with the government restricting public demonstrations, and banning them completely from the centre of the capital, Baku.
Despite technical and financial problems, several anti-government newspapers continue to publish. Journalists report harassment of all forms, especially when reporting on corruption, but many remain undeterred.
In recent years many young activists have taken to cyberspace, where many young activists now blog regularly in Azerbaijani, English Russian and other languages, connecting not only with their own compatriots at home and abroad, but also internationally. The government has by and large tried to ignore this phenomena, using positive methods to counter it, largely by…
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