U.S. Statement at the Universal Periodic Review of Azerbaijan
UPR 44th Session
Delivered by Leah Field
Thank you, Madam Vice President.
The United States welcomes the delegation from Azerbaijan.
Following Azerbaijan’s unacceptable use of force on September 19 in Nagorno-Karabakh and its 10-month blockage of the Lachin corridor, over 100,000 ethnic Armenians fled Azerbaijan to Armenia.
Respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms has worsened throughout Azerbaijan since the last UPR. Recent laws on political parties and the media have further constrained civic and political space, and more than 200 individuals remain incarcerated for exercising their human rights.
In the spirit of cooperation, we recommend that Azerbaijan:
1. Welcome a dedicated, independent, international monitoring mission to provide transparency and reassurance that the human rights of ethnic Armenians will be respected, including those who may wish to return to Nagorno-Karabakh.
2. Immediately release all persons incarcerated for exercising their human rights and remove undue restrictions on NGOs, media outlets, political parties, religious activists, and lawyers.
3. Hold perpetrators of torture accountable.
I thank you.