The first ever European Games are due to take place in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, on 12-28 June 2015. The games will give a huge boost to the government’s campaign to portray Azerbaijan as a progressive and politically stable rising economic power. But behind the image trumpeted by the government of a forward-looking, modern nation is a state where criticism of the authorities is routinely and increasingly met with repression. Journalists, political activists and human rights defenders who dare to challenge the government face trumped up charges, unfair trials and lengthy prison sentences.
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