Ilham Aliyev with Kazakhstan’s president Nursultan Nazarbayev. A drop in oil prices has made it harder for him to deliver on his promise to raise living standards. Photograph: Alexey Nikolsky/EPA/Ria Novosti/Kremlin pool

The people of Azerbaijan will vote in a parliamentary election on Sunday overshadowed by a merciless crackdown on human rights in the oil-rich forme(...)

Katie Taylor’s determination to keep winning gold medals shows no signs of tapering off. Photograph: Ryan Byrne

Another brilliant spike in the already high performance of Irish boxing means Katie Taylor is not the only one leaving Baku with next year’s Olympics(...)

The president of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev congratulates gold medalist and compatriot Ilham Zakiyev at the European Games in Baku. Photograph: Getty.

I recognise this feeling. The adrenaline crash. The crankiness and mild bloating. The last clean T-shirt plastered to my back in greasy sweat. The str(...)

The staging of a major sports event is always about much more than sport. For the Romans the bread and circuses, a means of appeasing the disgruntled (...)

Boxer Katie Taylor leads the Ireland team into the stadium during the opening ceremony for the  2015 European Games at the National Stadium  in Baku, Azerbaijan. Photograph: Francois Nel/Getty Images

History in the making – or how winning a medal of any colour at the first European Games in Baku will make a little piece of history, even if it’s nev(...)

The Baku Aquatics Centre which has been built for the inaugural 2015 European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan. Photograph: Tobias Schwartz/AFP Photo/Getty Images

Sometime after 9pm tonight, local Baku time, an Irishman will declare the first European Games open in the most perfectly orchestrated moment in the h(...)

The Guardian have been refused entry to Azerbaijan to cover the inaugral European Games in Baku. Photograph: Afp

The government of Azerbaijan has banned the Guardian, along with a number of media outlets and human rights activists, from entering the country to co(...)

Azerbaijan opposition supporters take part in a rally last month in the capital Baku as the country gears up to host the European Games. Photograph: Tofik Babayev/AFP/Getty

After Azerbaijan was nominated to host the inaugural European Games in 2015, Rasul Jafarov began planning the “Sports for Rights” campaign to draw int(...)

Supporters of Azerbaija’s president Ilham Aliyev celebrate his victory in the presidential elections in Baku yesterday. Photograph: David Mdzinarishvili/Reuters.

Ilham Aliyev won a third term as president of the oil-producing ex-Soviet republic of Azerbaijan yesterday in an election the opposition said was marr(...)

Azerbaidjan’s president Ilham Aliyev is poised for re-election

Azerbaijan’s leader Ilham Aliyev is poised for another crushing victory in today’s presidential election, extending the reign of a dynasty that is acc(...)