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One more concert on sidelines of Edgar Oganesyan-Fest in Yerevan

Criminal case opened over death of soldier in Yerevan

President of Turkey calls for opening archives and submitting Genocide issue to historians

The Pan-Armenian Declaration On The 100th Anniversary Of The Armenian Genocide Promulgated

New appointments at VTB Bank (Armenia)

Armenian President: Denial of Armenian Genocide turns present-day Turkish authorities into accomplices to the crime committed by Young Turks

President Serzh Sargsyan attends opening of Komitas Museum-Institute

Spokesman of Armenian DM: I will not be surprised if tomorrow Azerbaijan destroys an Armenian intercontinental ballistic missile

Action of protest held in front of OSCE Office in Yerevan

Tension on Line of Contact is unlikely to develop into large-scale military operations, Azeri expert says

Well-known actor Vardan Petrosyan sentenced to 5 years in jail

Armenian Defense Ministry: Two Armenian servicemen wounded as a result of Azeri sabotage attack

Small business representatives heading towards president's residence protesting against Law on Turnover Tax

Azeri raiders convicted in Artsakh apply to Court of Appeal

Gevork Kostanyan: Armenian people had to protect their own history against distortion at ECHR

Haaretz: President of Israel touches upon Armenian Genocide

Francois Hollande calls on Turkey to dispel stereotypes and recognize Genocide of Armenians

Armenian armed forces rebuff a new Azeri sabotage attack on the border in Tavush region

Armenian delegation to PACE voices issue of Armenian Genocide in Ottoman Turkey

Small HPPs constructed on rivers to get green passports

Verdict on "Perincek vs. Switzerland" case will be announced within 6-8 months

Official Stepanakert thinks extradition of Dilham Askerov may not be debated

OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs voice their concern over growing tensions in Karabakh conflict zone

Eduard Sharmazanov: "OSCE MG's latest statement was unprecedented, as the mediators took Baku down a peg for the first time ever "

President of Armenia: "Artsakh's right to live in freedom is undisputable"

Artsvik Minasyan: Any integration is senseless for unreformed economy of Armenia

Armenia's Energy Ministry plans to sell part of Nairit Plant's assets

Armenian Defense Minister: Transfer of Valery Permyakov to Armenian law-enforcers was not discussed at the meeting with Arkady Bakhin

Expert: Armenian law-enforcers are not involved in Permyakov case investigation to full extent

British Film Festival 13th Love Edition to kick off in Yerevan on Feb 14

Changes in Russia-Middle East relations cannot but affect Armenian-Russian military strategic cooperation

Armenian FM: Armenia and Iran have no problems concerning their joint projects

Global Finance: In 2015 Ameriabank named the best trade finance bank of the year in Armenia

Armenian Defense Minister: Azerbaijani raider's fate must be discussed with authorities of Nagorno Karabakh only

OSCE chairperson-in-office calls on the parties to the Karabakh conflict to ensure a full ceasefire

Armenia to appear in first semifinal of Eurovision Song Contest 2015

Foreign minister of Iran: Teheran hopes to tackle issue of Russia's S300 supplies as soon as possible

Serzh Sargsyan: It might have been possible to prevent the crimes committed under veil of WWII had the crimes against humanity committed during WWI earned unequivocal international condemnation

Newspaper: Permyakov was not acquainted with Avetisyans family

India Ambassador to Armenia welcomes level of bilateral cooperation

Expert: Russia's every decision directly affects Armenia

Richard Giragosian: After aligning with EEU, Armenia faced security threats

Police: Valery Permyakov might have acted not alone

Armenian FM: Armenia's stance on Karabakh is similar to that of Russia, France and the United States

President of Armenia: We have prepared many surprises for hotheads in Azerbaijan

Expert: Defense capability of Armenian armed forces is much higher than offensive ability of Azerbaijan

Armenian FM: Armenia and Russia are unanimous that trial of the Gyumri murder case must be transparent

Political expert: Azeri provocations on the border occur following tragic events in Gyumri

Expert: Turkish president will not change his rhetoric on threshold of Centenary of Armenian Genocide

Edward Nalbandian: Doubts about Baku's reasonableness are growing with every passing day

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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