Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 May 2016, 08:28 GMT

Azerbaijan: Update to AZE19547.E of 26 January 1995, on the treatment of Jews, particularly in Baku, and available protection

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 1 April 1999
Citation / Document Symbol AZE31749.E
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Azerbaijan: Update to AZE19547.E of 26 January 1995, on the treatment of Jews, particularly in Baku, and available protection, 1 April 1999, AZE31749.E, available at: [accessed 25 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.


According to the Internet version of an 1 January 1998 report by the New York-based Union of Councils for Soviet Jews entitled Azerbaijan:

Though antisemitism has not historically been a problem in Azerbaijan, there has been both Muslim revival and a rise in nationalism which have embraced anti-Armenian and anti-Russian sentiments. Because Jews are seen as ethnically Russian, the situation for Jews must be monitored. Generally, antisemitism has not been as overt in Azerbaijan as in other regions of the former Soviet Union, but is manifested in a personal, street level form, or included in general hostilities towards all-non-Azaris. The Jewish community has thus become more cautious in some of its activities, particularly in its reluctance to aggressively fight for the return of Jewish property. Jewish emigration out of Azerbaijan increased during the 1993 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict; Jews feared both becoming casualties of war and becoming the targets of hostility that had previously been directed at Armenians, most of whom had fled the republic.

For information on Jewish life in Azerbaijan to 1 January 1998, on issues such as the return of Jewish communal property, crimes and attacks against individuals or Jewish Communal Property, antisemitism in the media and obstacle to freedom of religion, and on the Azerbaijan government on human rights, please consult the attached report .

Country Reports 1998 corroborates the above:

Jews do not suffer from discrimination, and the country is remarkably free from anti-Semitism. However, in a few isolated cases, government officials or those allied with the Government have used veiled anti-Semitic comments against perceived opponents for politically motivated reasons. For example, government newspapers made a number of references to the ethnic affiliation (Jewish) of the director of the Azerbaijani service of Radio Liberty in the context of criticizing Radio Liberty for unbalanced coverage of events in the country.

In a 17 September 1998 statement made by prominent members of the Azerbaijani  Jewish Community, including the head of the board of Baku's religious community of European Jews, the chairman of the mountain Jews (Tats) and the chairman of the Georgian Jews expressed "concern and alarm" over "destructive" actions taken on 12 September 1998 by the radical opposition in Azerbaijan that contributed to "whip up passions and push the people to the dangerous verge of civil confrontation." (Bakinskiy Rabochiy 19 Sept. 1998). The statement does not provide any further information on the 12 September events.

No more recent information on the treatment of Jews in Azerbaijan nor on available protection could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Bakinskiy Rabochiy [Baku, in Russian]. 19 September 1998. "Azerbaijan: Azeri Jews Urge Political Caution." (FBIS-SOV-98-264 21 Sept. 1999/WNC).

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1998. 1999. United States Department of State. Washington DC. Electronic version.

Union of Councils for Soviet Jews, New York. 1 January 1998. Azerbaijan. [Internet] [Consulted: 16 April 1998].


Union of Councils for Soviet Jews, New York. 1 January 1998. Azerbaijan. [Internet] [Consulted: 16 April 1998].

Additional Sources Consulted

Electronic Sources: IRB databases, Internet, LEXIS/NEXIS.

Institute for Jewish Policy (JPR) Website.

National Conference on Soviet Jewry Website.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

Search Refworld