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Minister for Labor and Social Affairs disclaims reports on "renting" orphans to beggars

Senior Police Officer Arrested over Hrant Dink's Assassination

New Rates for Energy by Renewable Power Generation Enterprises to come into force in Armenia starting July 1, 2015

Brad Sherman: "I look forward to continued efforts to support Artsakh and strengthen the ties between the United States and the Republic."

Armenian Winemakers Compensating for Losses of Sales on Russian Market through Export Diversification

Armenian Singers Receiving Awards at Discovery-2015 Fest in Varna

Serzh Sargsyan: Armenia is a republic resting on democratic values.

French Ambassador to Azerbaijan informs his government of Baku's protest note over Artsakh president's visit to France

Labor Minister: Technical service of inexpensive vehicles more costly than luxurious cars

VivaCell-MTS warns of possible technical problems with connection on May 27- June 2

Beeline and Unibank expand cooperation

Orange organizes a 3-day exhibition of children's paintings

Seyran Ohanyan: Situation in Karabakh conflict zone relatively calm

AMD 52 million to be invested in near-border Paravakar village by Orange Foundation

VivaCell-MTS and COAF Collaborate with Creativity Lab Opening in the Village of Getashen

In Protest at Energy Rate Increase Activists of "Against Robbery" Movement have gone on a Sit Strike in Freedom Square

USD 5bn government debt is no obstacle to Armenian officials' car appetites

Head of Armenia-Canada Parliamentary Friendship Group: Declaration of Cooperation with Canadian Parliament result of years-long work

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Rostelecom Armenia sums up journalists' contest "Technologies for Life - Internet at the Speed of Light"

New Internet-Banking Tariffs to be Put into Action at "Areximbank - Gazprombank Group" since June 1

David Harutyunyan on Energy Rate Increase: Ordinary Customers Should not Take the Consequences of Failed Management and Thefts

Ukrainian scenario seems in store for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan and Macedonia, Paul Craig Roberts says

View from Moscow: By Taking Reprisals on Civil Society Baku Tests the West

D-Link names Beeline most customer-oriented company

Criminal case instituted over explosion at ex-parliamentarians' gas-filling station

Large POPs pesticide burial site in Nubarashen and residual obsolete pesticide stores in 24 locations to be eliminated

Brother and son of ex-parliamentarian Hakob Hakobyan injured in explosion at gas-filling station

"Against Robbery" public interest group calls on citizens of Armenia to join protests against rising energy costs on May 27

Several members of "Centennial Without Regime" Movement detained overnight

Armenia's National Security Council exposes "talented" Azerbaijani spies that tried to gather information through "odnoklassniki" social media

Turkey Ambassador says some Armenian circles in Russia and outside it impeding Russian-Turkish relations

Mammadyarov: Russia "keen to move Karabakh talks from the dead center"

VivaCell: Alcatel One Touch POP C7 smartphone for AMD 1

In Japan Edward Sharmazanov Spoke about the Armenian Cultural Heritage being Destroyed in Azerbaijan, Turkey and by Islamic State

VTB Bank (Armenia) finances project on construction of Good Time entertainment center for children

The Second Government Premises to be put in Commission in November 2015

Young "Dashnaktsakans" Protesting Against the Expected Energy Rate Increase

Myths and Reality about Mining

Stepanavan Airport will be Ready for Operation by the End of 2015

Matenadaran to Digitize Ancient Manuscripts and Documents with Beeline Support

Zhirayr Sefilyan: Founding Parliament to rally on May 30

Sergey Lavrov: Karabakh conflict settlement among Russia's foreign political priorities

Anti-corruption measures in education fail to give tangible results

European Conservatives & Reformists Group to hold its next enlarged meeting in Armenia

VivaCell-MTS reports 2.1 million subscribers for Q1 2015 - 60% of total market

Minister: Inspections at ex-PAP leader's enterprises are still going on

Citizens of Armenia, Belarus and Kazakhstan have the right to receive insurance benefits along with Russians

Baku: Azerbaijan expects EU to ensure implementation of UN Security Council resolutions

Alliance Party comes out with public statement on crimes committed by Electric Networks of Armenia

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

  • Saturday, August 2, 15:44

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.

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