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Azerbaijan’s blockade of a key route into the breakaway territory of Nagorno-Karabakh endangered the lives of thousands of people and, followed by a military offensive, forced most of the ethnic Armenians to flee the region. The government’s crackdown on freedom of expression intensified. Journalists, human rights defenders and activists were arrested in retaliation for their work. Peaceful protests were suppressed, and the work of media outlets and independent organizations remained unduly restricted. Women and girls continued to face gender-based harassment and violence.

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