Newsfeed

Zhirayr Sefilyan and Gagik Yeghiazaryan will remain under arrest: Appeal Court dismissed appeal on changing measure of their restraint

Ameriabank once again receives Commerzbank's Quality Excellence Award

Armenian court denies motion on arrest of Russian citizen wanted by USA

Azat Arshakyan: Statements about territorial concessions in Artsakh are a provocation

Gurgen Yeghiazaryan: Armenian authorities should make serious changes to avoid a revolt

Aram Manukyan moved to Erebuni Medical Center to undergo one more surgery

Aleksandr Iskandaryan: Authorities cherish illusions that they still can manage the apathy in the country

Defense Ministry: Information about downing of Armenian Armed Forces' drone over Nakhijevan is false

BM-22 arrow-shaped finned hard core projectile found in basement of a building in Yerevan

James Warlick made statement related to celebration of Artsakh Independence Day

Armenia's Ombudsman met with Andrias Ghukasyan's wife

Adversary fired Karabakh positions from "Utes" NSV large caliber machinegun

Armenia's Foreign Ministry has no information whether there are citizens of Armenia among victims of fire at warehouse in Moscow

VivaCell-MTS General Partner of the Paros Chamber Choir that Wins 2 Silver Medals at the Choir Olympics

David Sanasaryan: Fight for release of all political prisoners and for power change will be continued in Armenia

No citizens of Armenia among killed or injured in earthquakes in Italy, emergency situations ministry says

Eduard Sharmazanov: There will be no problem with delivery of grape

"Heritage" Party demands to stop criminal persecution of its representatives

Arman Melikyan: Moscow’s actions have become very predictable and those who lead it to a dilemma know beforehand what it will choose

Hotline available at Armenia's Embassy in Italy

Hackathon contest to be launched by MIC Armenia with support of Beeline

Putin charges immediate operability tests of Russian troops

Sources: Leadership of 102nd Russian military base in Armenia may be replaced soon

Armenian FM: Still no data if there were Armenians among quake victims in Italy

Regional

Azerbaijan 'makes mockery of democratic aspirations' in civil society crackdown, says OSCE PA human rights chair

  • Saturday, August 2, 20:44

Isabel Santos (MP, Portugal), the Chair of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly's Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions, today deplored the intensifying crackdown on civil society in Azerbaijan and called on authorities to quickly reverse the trend.

"With this latest round of attacks on the country's civil society, Azerbaijan is making a mockery of its stated aspirations to become a modern, democratic state. I am shocked by developments that have occurred in the last several days alone -- namely, the barring of human rights activist Rasul Jafarov from leaving the country and the clearly politicized charges against Leyla Yunus and her husband," Santos said.

"The fact that these and other disturbing developments have come less than a month after Baku hosted the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly's Annual Session makes them all the more shameful. I call on Azerbaijan's authorities to take their OSCE human rights commitments seriously and immediately reverse this downward spiral," Santos added.

The PA's human rights chair also referred to a clause in the Baku Declaration, the final document approved by Parliamentarians from across the OSCE area at the conclusion of the recent Annual Session, that "expresses concern at the misuse of administrative procedures and legislation to detain, imprison, intimidate or otherwise silence human rights defenders and critics in numerous OSCE participating States, including Azerbaijan:"

Activist Rasul Jafarov, the chair of the Legal Protection and Awareness Society, has worked to bring human rights violations in Azerbaijan to the attention of the international community. His ban on traveling abroad was revealed this week when he attempted to cross into Georgia. His bank account has also been frozen and he has been subject to official harassment.  Jafarov was one of several leading activists who assisted Santos in organizing a side event on fundamental freedoms in Azerbaijan at the OSCE PA Annual Session. The event was attended by prominent Azerbaijani MPs, who actively engaged in discussion on the topics raised. 
Leyla Yunus, the director of the Institute for Peace and Democracy in Azerbaijan, and her husband, Arif Yunus, were arrested on 30 July on charges of treason, tax evasion and other financial crimes. The NGO defends political prisoners, exposes corruption and promotes people-to-people exchanges between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

The OSCE PA's human rights chair also expressed concern over the sentencing last month of Azerbaijani education activist and NGO leader Hasan Huseynli to six years in prison on trumped up charges.

Santos also noted with regret the announcement that independent Azerbaijani newspaper "Azadliq" has been forced to suspend publishing due to financial problems. The newspaper has faced official pressure apparently in connection to its reporting on corruption. She described the development as "another blow to the already state-dominated media landscape."

Santos further reiterated her intention to visit jailed Azerbaijani rights defender Anar Mammadli, the Chairman of the Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Centre. In early June, she formally requested permission to visit Mammadli during the OSCE PA Annual Session in Baku, but has yet to receive a response from the authorities.

Send to a friend

To (e-mail)


Your name


Message


Comments

View comments (0)
  • READ ALL COMMENTS
  • POST A COMMENT

Be first to comment on this article

* Indicates required fields