The Azerbaijani national flag flies next to a banner announcing the 2015 European Games in Baku on June 10, 2015. AFP PHOTO / TOBIAS SCHWARZ
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Azerbaijan has blocked a visit by Amnesty International at which it planned to highlight human rights abuses in the south Caucasian republic as it prepares to host the inaugural European Games, Amnesty said Wednesday.Although rights groups accuse the government of muzzling dissent and jailing opponents to prevent the rise of any political opposition, charges it denies, Azerbaijan is courted by the West as an alternative to Russia in supplying oil and gas to Europe.On Tuesday, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) was given one month to halt its operations in Azerbaijan, only months before a parliamentary election.
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