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American Astronaut Refuses To Attend Event in Azerbaijan

Garrett Reisman

Famous American astronaut Garrett Reisman has declined from participating in the next International Astronautical Congress (IAC) to be held in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan.

He made several posts about this on Twitter, responding to the announcement of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) regarding participation in the Baku Congress.

"Why is IAC in Azerbaijan - a country guilty of recent military aggression against its neighbor Armenia? Azerbaijan is one of the most corrupt nations with one of the worst human rights records in Europe.(…) I'm not going, & if you are, please reconsider," Reisman tweeted.

Also, he posted relevant reports from Freedom House, Reporters Without Borders, and Transparency International.

"The military aggression started last September and has been condemned by the Parliament.

A recent Freedom House report places Azerbaijan in a four-way tie with Russia, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan as the most corrupt countries in Europe and Central Asia.

Reporters without Borders ranks Azerbaijan in the 154th place out of 180 nations (just 1 spot ahead of Russia, congratulations, Azerbaijan!) on the Press Freedom Index.

Transparency International ranks Azerbaijan as 128th out of 180 nations on their current Corruption Perceptions Index - again just one place above Russia - well done, Azerbaijan!” Reisman added.

The next International Astronautical Congress is slated for October in Baku.


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