National frameworks to address hate crime in Azerbaijan

This page provides information on the national frameworks to address hate crime in Azerbaijan. The information provided here should be viewed alongside data presented on Azerbaijan's hate crime report page.

Hate crime recording and data collection

Any information about a bias-motivated incident reported to law enforcement is considered primarily as information about a criminal offence, subject to Article 207 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC). The relevant provisions of the CPC allow law enforcement bodies and prosecutors to take necessary measures, including the collection of testimonies and the involvement of specialists and forensic experts for their professional evaluation.

Both police and prosecutors can receive reports of bias-motivated incidents via various channels, including in writing, through the website, email or hotlines. The internal regulations require that the information be referred to the competent unit, designated by location or the competency of a specialized investigation authorities, depending on the seriousness of the crime. Cases of a serious nature are investigated by a specialized national investigation unit in the General Prosecutor's Office.

Hate crime victim support

There is no specific hate crime victim support structure in Azerbaijan. Hate crime victims have the same rights to protection and support as offered to victims of other crimes.

There are no specific state organizations providing specialist support specifically to hate crime victims. However, the victims of this category of crimes can receive the material or psychological support made available to victims of crimes against the person, sexual crimes, and any other crimes committed against vulnerable groups. Civil society organizations (CSOs) provide specialist support to cases related to gender and domestic violence. Victims of certain categories of crime, including trafficking, domestic violence and terrorism, can make use of special protection and support mechanisms and resources (such as legal aid, hotlines and shelters), provided either by the state or CSOs.

Hate crime victims can benefit from the same protection measures as available to victims of other offences, including shelter, urgent medical assistance, psychosocial counselling, legal consultation and representation, and interpretation and translation services. The provision of these services is mandatory under the Criminal Procedure Code.

Prosecutors and judges are responsible for offering a needs assessment at the trial stage. They are entitled to involve the specialists required to meet the needs of particular victim.

According to the Criminal Procedure Code, the victim enjoys a range or rights, including the right to be protected by all means. The police, prosecutors and judges engaged in the inquiry, investigation and adjudication of cases are responsible for taking necessary measures to ensure the personal safety and security of the victim, their relatives, and their property. The victims are also entitled to actively participate in the inquiry, investigation and adjudication.

The victim and their legal representative are entitled to raise matters and issues, submit evidence, and demand the investigation of certain aspects of the case. If the victim is not content with the court decision, they are entitled to appeal against the court decision.

The hate crime victim participating in the proceedings (as the "prosecution party", and not merely as a witness) has access to the criminal case file. The Prosecutor's Office is obliged according to the Criminal Procedure Code to inform the victim about a decision to not pursue the case as a hate crime when they press charges for the base offence. The victim of a crime is entitled to present the impact of the crime in court. The emotional harm suffered by the hate crime victim can be reflected in the amount of compensation awarded. The victim is also entitled to demand material damage, including economic damage, as well as publication of information in the media.

Hate crime capacity building

The Science and Education Center of the General Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Azerbaijan organized lectures on the subject of "instilling national, racial, social, or religious hatred and enmity".

In 2022, a preparatory course was conducted for employees who were admitted to the service and undergoing internship in the prosecutor's offices of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Additionally, the subject was also taught during the mandatory training for candidates who successfully passed the competition to be accepted into the service of the prosecutor's offices of the Republic of Azerbaijan in 2022. The topic of "Descriptive features of crimes of inciting national, racial, social, or religious hatred and enmity" was included in the curriculum.