Renowned American astronaut Garrett Reisman has declined to participate in the next International Astronautical Congress to be held in Baku in protest of Azerbaijan’s ongoing aggression against Armenia.
“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.
He reminded that the military aggression started last September and has been condemned by the European Parliament.
Reisman also posted relevant reports from Freedom House, Reporters Without Borders, and Transparency International.
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 in several of his posts.
The International Astronautical Congress is scheduled to take place in Baku in October.