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Государство оплачивает работу свыше 1000 священослужителей

SocietyPosted by Jano 2018-12-24 16:20:52

"B настоящее время религиозная ситуация в Азербайджане стабильна, процессы и тенденции под контролем". Об этом заявил глава госкомитета по работе с религиозными структурами Мубариз Гурбанлы в своей статье, опубликованной в сегодняшнем номере официальной газеты "Азербайджан". По его словам, в корне возникающих в этой сфере проблем кроются религиозная безграмотность, неверное представление ислама. Он также сообщил, что Фонд пропаганды духовных ценностей ежемесячно оказывает материальную помощь свыше 1060 священнослужителям, назначенным Управлением мусульман Кавказа. По словам Гурбанлы, если в советское время в Азербайджане было всего 17 мечетей, то сегодня их число превышает 2250. Кроме того, на территории страны действует 14 церквей, 7 синагог. На сегодняшний день в Азербайджане зарегистрированы 877 исламских, 32 - не исламские (21- христианская, 8 - иудаистских, 2 - бахаитские, 1 - кришнаитская ) общин. Не ясно, что имеет в виду Гурбанлы, кода говорит о контроле над религиозной ситуацией. Однако правозащитные организации заявляют о преследованиях религиозных активистов за их убеждения. Из 150 политзаключенных около 100 человек являются верующими. Заявление Гурбанлы о религиозной стабильности контрастирует с официальной версией правоохранительных органов об угрозе религиозного радикализма. Так, по официальной версии, именно исламские радикалы стояли за покушением на бывшего главу Гянджи Эльмара Bелиева и последующих беспорядков в этом городе в июле 2018 г., в результате которых были убиты двое офицеров полиции. B связи с указанными событиями арестованы около 70 человек. По Конституции Азербайджана религия отделена от государства. B связи с этим возникает вопрос насколько соответствует принципам светского государства оказание правительством материальной помощи "наместникам" провластного УМК.

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Time for Sanctions on Baku

NewsPosted by Jano 2014-10-04 03:31:07
As the West has turned its attention to the Islamic State and the Ukraine crisis, the government of President Ilham Aliyev has expanded its crackdown on dissenting voices in Azerbaijan with harassment, threats, beatings, and arrests. Even American citizens and international NGOs have bet caught up in the widening net of repression. These actions demand a response.

For years, Belarus’s leader Alexander Lukashenka has been called Europe’s last dictator, although Vladimir Putin is giving Lukashenka a run for his money, amidst the worst crackdown on human rights in Russia in decades. And now we might also add another leader in the region to the list: President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan.

After an accelerating series of arrests, Aliyev’s government now holds nearly 100 political prisoners, roughly double the number in Belarus and Russia combined. Beyond the raw numbers, Azerbaijan’s authorities are also getting more thuggish in their handling of critics, journalists, and opposition figures—as well as Westerners.

Statements of concern and criticism from Western and international officials and organizations have fallen on deaf ears in Baku. Even President Obama’s recent criticism of Azerbaijan’s treatment of NGOs made no impact. To the contrary, there are now credible reports that the Azerbaijani authorities plan to arrest investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova when she returns to Baku from a trip abroad. The best way to try to reverse this disturbing trend is to impose penalties on the Aliyev regime for its outrageous treatment of its own people.

Among the most egregious abuses are the July 30 arrests of civil society activists Leyla and Arif Yunus, accused of spying for Armenian secret services—implausible charges linked to the decades-old dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh. On August 20, journalist Ilgar Nasibov was savagely beaten into a state of unconsciousness while he was in the office of a rights organization in the Naxcivan region. Several leading opposition figures—including Ilgar Mamedov of the opposition movement REAL and Tofig Yakublu of Musavat—languish in prison on unsubstantiated charges.

American citizens and organizations are not immune from Azerbaijan’s heavy-handed intolerance of dissenting voices. Said Nuri, an American citizen of Azerbaijani origin, was recently blocked for nearly a week from leaving Baku, after visiting his ailing father. The local offices of several American and international non-governmental organizations have been raided and/or their bank accounts frozen, and their employees harassed including IREX, the National Democratic Institute, Transparency International, and Oxfam. Several grantees of the National Endowment for Democracy have been arrested, and numerous others have had their accounts frozen.

Azerbaijan’s smear campaign has included U.S. officials, too. Recently departed U.S. Ambassador Richard Morningstar was subjected to various personal attacks by Azerbaijani government representatives, including the Chief of the Presidential Administration, Ramiz Mehdiyev. Senate staffers during a visit to Baku earlier this year were called “dogs” by a prosecutor and “spies” by a parliamentarian after meeting with Khadija Ismayilova.

Any individual or organization that criticizes Aliyev or promotes democracy is viewed as hostile. Mehdiyev has characterized independent media as “anti-Azerbaijani forces” financed from abroad.

The Council of Europe’s human rights chief, Nils Muiznieks, slammed the Azerbaijani government earlier this month for the “totally unacceptable” human rights situation, which, he said, “flies in the face of the human rights obligations undertaken by Azerbaijan” as a member of the Council. In August, several UN human rights envoys said they were “appalled” by the growing number of abuses and arrests of rights activists “on the basis of trumped-up charges.” The “criminalization of rights activists must stop,” they declared, calling for the release of the Yunuses and others.

For years, Azerbaijan’s oil and gas reserves insulated the country from exposure for its abysmal human rights record. The West’s attention lately has been focused on the Russia-Ukraine crisis and the challenge of the Islamic State, giving the Aliyev regime a sense that it can get away with its crackdown. To be safe, at last month’s NATO summit it offered to take part in investment and reconstruction projects in Afghanistan, betting that contributions to the allied effort would buy it a pass on its internal situation. Azerbaijan has also thrown around lots of the money it has earned from energy exports to buy influence and friends in the West.

Azerbaijani authorities often argue that they live in a tough neighborhood—sandwiched between Russia and Iran and with an unresolved conflict with Armenia—and that this should excuse them for their behavior. Geopolitics, however, shouldn’t shield Azerbaijan from criticism for treating its citizens and Western organizations as criminals.

It’s time, therefore, for the United States to apply a law modeled on the 2012 Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law and Accountability Act to authorities in Baku. A number of Azerbaijani activists have called for such measures. Given the reported assets the Aliyev family and its circle hold overseas, freezing their assets and denying them access and travel to the West might just do the trick. The State Department should also issue a travel warning to American citizens alerting them of the surveillance, harassment, and possible detention they might face in Azerbaijan.

At a time when Vladimir Putin is continuing Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, some will argue that, for geopolitical reasons, this is not the time for the United States to get tough on Azerbaijan. There is never a good time to take such steps, but the situation inside Azerbaijan demands a response now. Further Western expressions of “concern” or characterizations of the situation as “unacceptable” would sound increasingly hollow. The Aliyev regime must understand that there are consequences for its abuses.

David J. Kramer and Richard Kauzlarich

Published on October 2, 2014

«The American Interest»

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Obama criticizes Azerbaijan for repressive NGO laws..

NewsPosted by Jano 2014-09-25 21:45:07
Remarks by the President at Clinton Global Initiative New York, New York

THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, all of you. I was just discussing with President Clinton that if Chelsea begins delivery while I'm speaking, she has my motorcade and will be able to navigate traffic. (Laughter.) Because actually, it's pretty smooth for me during the week. I don't know what the problem is. Everybody hypes the traffic, but I haven't noticed. (Laughter.)

Always wonderful to follow Matt Damon. (Laughter.) I saw people trickling out after he was done. (Laughter and applause.) These are the hardcore policy people who decided to stay for me. (Laughter.)

I want to thank President Clinton for your friendship and your leadership, and bringing us together as only he can. Bill first asked me come to CGI when I was a senator -- and as President, I've been proud to come back every year. As President, Bill asked Americans to serve their country -- and we recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of AmeriCorps on the South Lawn. And Bill asked all of you to make commitments to better our world -- and together you've touched the lives of hundreds of millions of people. And it's a testimony, I think, to any leader, not just for what they themselves do, but the degree to which they're able to inspire action from others. And by that measure, obviously Bill Clinton has continued to exert extraordinary global leadership for decades and I suspect for decades more to come. (Applause.)

Now, in agreeing to come I had an ask, as well. I think one of the best decisions I ever made as President was to ask Hillary Clinton to serve as our nation's Secretary of State. (Applause.) She just welcomed me backstage. I'll always be grateful for her extraordinary leadership representing our nation around the world. And I still have a lot of debt to pay, though, because the two of them were separated far too often. Hillary put in a lot of miles during her tenure as Secretary of State. She has the post-administration glow right now. (Laughter.) She looks much more rested. (Laughter.)

So it's wonderful to be back at CGI. I cannot imagine a more fitting audience with whom to discuss the work that brings me here today -- and that is our obligation as free peoples, as free nations, to stand with the courageous citizens and brave civil society groups who are working for equality and opportunity and justice and human dignity all over the world.

I'm especially pleased that we're joined today by our many partners in this work -- governments, civil society groups, including faith leaders, and men and women from around the world who devote their lives and, at times, risk their lives to lifting up their communities, and strengthening their nations, and claiming universal rights on behalf of their fellow citizens. And we're honored by the presence of these individuals.

As we do every time this year, Presidents and Prime Ministers converge on this great city to advance important work. But as leaders, we are not the most important people here today. It is the civil society leaders who, in many ways, are going to have the more lasting impact, because as the saying goes, the most important title is not president or prime minister; the most important title is citizen.

It is citizens -- ordinary men and women, determined to forge their own future -- who throughout history have sparked all the great change and progress. It was citizens here in America who worked to abolish slavery, who marched for women's rights and workers' rights and civil rights. They are the reason I can stand here today as President of the United States. It's citizens who, right now, are standing up for the freedom that is their God-given right.

And I've seen it myself, in the advocates and activists that I've met all over the world. I've seen it in the courage of Berta Soler, the leader of Cuba's Ladies in White who endure harassment and arrest in order to win freedom for their loved ones and for the Cuban people. I've seen it in the determination of Russians in Moscow and St. Petersburg who speak up for rule of law and human rights. I've seen it the passion of advocates in Senegal who nurture their democracy, and young Africans across the continent who are helping to marshal in Africa's rise. I've seen it the hope of young Palestinians in Ramallah, who dream of building their future in a free and independent state. I see it in the perseverance of men and women in Burma who are striving to build a democracy against the odds. These citizens remind us why civil society is so essential. When people are free to speak their minds and hold their leaders accountable, governments are more responsive and more effective. When entrepreneurs are free to create and develop new ideas, then economies are more innovative, and attract more trade and investment, and ultimately become more prosperous. When communities, including minorities, are free to live and pray and love as they choose; when nations uphold the rights of all their people -- including, perhaps especially, women and girls -- then those countries are more likely to thrive. If you want strong, successful countries, you need strong, vibrant civil societies. When citizens are free to organize and work together across borders to make our communities healthier, our environment cleaner, and our world safer, that's when real change comes.

And we see this spirit in the new commitments you're making here at CGI to help the people of West Africa in their fight against Ebola.

We've also seen this spirit in another cause -- the global campaign against anti-personnel landmines. Tireless advocates like Jody Williams fought for the Ottawa Convention; leaders like Patrick Leahy have led the charge in Washington. Twenty years ago, President Clinton stood at the United Nations and pledged that the United States would work toward the elimination of these landmines, and earlier today, we announced that we will take another important step. Outside of the unique circumstances of the Korean Peninsula -- where we have a longstanding commitment to the defense of our ally South Korea -- the United States will not use anti-personnel landmines. (Applause.)

So we will begin destroying our stockpiles not required for the defense of South Korea. And we're going to continue to work to find ways that would allow us to ultimately comply fully and accede to the Ottawa Convention. And the United States will continue to lead as the world's largest donor of global demining efforts, freeing communities and countries from these weapons.

The point is this started in civil society. That's what prompted action by President Clinton and by myself. And promoting civil society that can surface issues and push leadership is not just in keeping with our values, it's not charity. It's in our national interests. Countries that respect human rights -- including freedom of association -- happen to be our closest partners. That is not an accident. Conversely, when these rights are suppressed, it fuels grievances and a sense of injustice that over time can fuel instability or extremism. So I believe America's support for civil society is a matter of national security.

It is precisely because citizens and civil society can be so powerful -- their ability to harness technology and connect and mobilize at this moment so unprecedented -- that more and more governments are doing everything in their power to silence them.

From Russia to China to Venezuela, you are seeing relentless crackdowns, vilifying legitimate dissent as subversive. In places like Azerbaijan, laws make it incredibly difficult for NGOs even to operate. From Hungary to Egypt, endless regulations and overt intimidation increasingly target civil society. And around the world, brave men and women who dare raise their voices are harassed and attacked and even killed.

So today, we honor those who have given their lives. Among them, in Cameroon, Eric Lembembe; in Libya, Salwa Bugaighis; in Cambodia, Chut Wutty; in Russia, Natalia Estemirova. We stand in solidarity with those who are detained at this very moment. In Venezuela, Leopoldo Lopez; in Burundi, Pierre-Claver Mbonimpa; in Egypt, Ahmed Maher; in China, Liu Xiaobo; and now Ilham Tohti; in Vietnam, Father Ly. And so many others. They deserve to be free. They ought to be released.

This growing crackdown on civil society is a campaign to undermine the very idea of democracy. And what's needed is an even stronger campaign to defend democracy.

Since I took office, the United States has continued to lead the way, and as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton helped champion our efforts. Across the globe, no country does more to strengthen civil society than America. And one year ago, here in New York, I pledged that the United States would do even more, and I challenged the world to join us in this cause. Working with many of you, that's what we've done. And today I'm proud to announce a series of new steps.

First, partnering and protecting civil society groups around the world is now a mission across the U.S. government. So under a new presidential memorandum that I'm issuing today, federal departments and agencies will consult and partner more regularly with civil society groups. They will oppose attempts by foreign governments to dictate the nature of our assistance to civil society. (Applause.) And they will oppose efforts by foreign governments to restrict freedoms of peaceful assembly and association and expression. So this is not just a matter of the State Department, or USAID. It's across the government -- this is part of American leadership.

Second, we're creating new innovation centers to empower civil society groups around the world. And I want to thank our partners in this effort, including the government of Sweden and the Aga Khan Development Network. Starting next year, civil society groups will be able to use these centers to network and access knowledge and technology and funding that they need to put their ideas into action. And we'll start with six centers in Latin America, in Sub-Saharan Africa, in the Middle East and in Asia. Oppressive governments are sharing "worst practices" to weaken civil society. We're going to help you share the "best practices" to stay strong and vibrant.

Number three, we're expanding our support and funding for the Community of Democracies to better coordinate the diplomacy and pressure that we bring to bear. And this means more support for those who are fighting against the laws that restrict civil society. In recent years, we've worked together to prevent new limits on civil society from Kenya to Cambodia. And we've helped expand the space for civil society in countries from Honduras to Tunisia to Burma. And standing together, we can do even more.

And finally, we're increasing our support to society groups across the board. We're going to increase our emergency assistance to embattled NGOs. We'll do more to match groups with the donors and funding that they need. And in the coming months, our Treasury Department will finalize regulations so it's even easier and less costly for your foundations to make grants overseas. (Applause.)

We'll increase our legal assistance and technical support to those pushing back against onerous laws and regulations. And through our Open Government Partnership, we'll help more governments truly partner with civil society. We'll continue to stand up for a free and open Internet, so individuals can access information and make up their own minds about the issues that their countries confront.

And through our programs to engage young leaders around the world, we're helping to build the next generation of civil society leaders. And our message to those young people is simple: America stands with you.

We stand with educators like Walid Ali of Kenya. Where's Walid? I just had a chance to meet him. There he is. (Applause.) In his village near the border of Somalia, young people without jobs are tempted by drugs. They're recruited by terrorists. So Walid offers them counseling, and business classes, and small plots of farmland -- helping them rebuild their own lives and their communities and giving them options for the future. He strives, he says, not just for the idea of democracy, but to "cement the practice of democracy." So we thank you, Walid, for your extraordinary efforts, and we stand with you. (Applause.)

We stand with humanitarians like Miriam Canales. Where is Miriam? There she is right there. (Applause.) In communities that are wracked at times by horrific violence, children are so terrified to walk the streets that many begin that dangerous and often deadly march north. And Miriam's outreach centers give them a safe place to play and grow and learn. And she says her dream is "that people in Honduras can walk free" and that young people will have "opportunities in their own country." We couldn't be prouder of you, Miriam, and we stand with you. (Applause.)

We stand with activists like Sopheap Chak, of Cambodia. Where's -- there she is, Sopheap. (Applause.) Sopheap saw a fellow human rights advocate hauled off by the police, and she could have fled, too, but she says she's never thought of leaving Cambodia even for minute. So she keeps organizing and marching and mobilizing youth to demand justice. And she says: "I dream that Cambodian citizens can enjoy the freedoms that they are entitled to." We could not be prouder of you, and we stand with you. (Applause.)

And we stand with advocates like John Gad of Egypt. Where's John? (Applause.) Like all Egyptians, John has lived through the turmoil of recent years. As an artist, he uses his poetry and performances to help people "discover the power inside them," which is as good a description of being an organizer as anything -- and being a leader. And he's been working to help women and girls recover from violence and sexual assault. He's focused, he says, on "how to teach Egyptians to accept each other." And he has said that "we have rights that we can achieve in a peaceful way." John is the future. That's why we stand with him. (Applause.)

Now, these individuals are just a small sample, they're just an example of the extraordinary drive and courage and commitment of people that oftentimes are outside of the headlines. People don't do stories on them. When they're endangered or harassed, it usually doesn't surface in the news. But they are those who are pushing the boulder up the hill to make sure that the world is a little bit of a better place.

And we live in a complicated world. We've got imperfect choices. The reality is sometimes, for instance, for the sake of our national security, the United States works with governments that do not fully respect the universal rights of their citizens. These are choices that I, as President, constantly have to make. And I will never apologize for doing everything in my power to protect the safety and security of the American people. That is my first and primary job. (Applause.) But that does not mean that human rights can be simply sacrificed for the sake of expediency.

So although it is uncomfortable, although it sometimes causes friction, the United States will not stop speaking out for the human rights of all people, and pushing governments to uphold those rights and freedoms. We will not stop doing that, because that's part of who we are, and that's part of what we stand for. (Applause.)

And when governments engage in tactics against citizens and civil society, hoping nobody will notice, it is our job to shine a spotlight on that abuse. And when individuals like the one I introduced are being held down, it's our job to help lift them back up. When they try to wall you off from the world, we want to connect you with each other. When your governments may try to pass oppressive laws, we'll try to oppose them. When they try to cut off your funding, we're going to try to give you a lifeline. And when they try to silence you, we want to amplify your voice.

And if, amid all the restrictions, and all the pressure, and all the harassment, and all the fear, if they try to tell you that the world does not care and that your friends have forsaken you, do not ever believe it. Because you are not alone. You are never alone. (Applause.) Your fellow advocates stand with you, and your communities stand with you. Your friends around the world stand with you. The United States of America stands with you, and its President stands with you.

No matter how dark the hour, we remember those words of Dr. King: "The time is always ripe to do right." And Dr. King also said: "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice." The reason we support civil society is because we have seen in this country of ours that it does, in fact, bend toward justice. But it does not do so on its own. It does so because there are hands of ordinary people doing extraordinary things every single day and they pull that arc in the direction of justice.

That's why we have freedom in this country. That's why I'm able to stand before you here today. And that's why we will stand with them tomorrow.

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European Parliament resolution on the persecution of human rights defenders in Azerbaijan (2014/2832(RSP)) (EN)

PoliticsPosted by Jano 2014-09-20 02:29:11

The European Parliament,

– having regard to its previous resolutions on the situation in Azerbaijan, in particular those of 18 April 2012 containing its recommendations to the Council, the Commission and the EEAS on the negotiations of the EU-Azerbaijan Association Agreement(1) and of 13 June 2013 on the case of Ilgar Mammadov(2),

– having regard to the Joint Communication of 15 May 2012 from the Commission and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on ‘Delivering on a new European Neighbourhood Policy’ (JOIN(2012)0014),

– having regard to the Commission’s 2013 ENP progress report on Azerbaijan of March 2014 (SWD(2014)0070),

– having regard to the EU-Azerbaijan ENP Action Plan,

– having regard to the statement of 2 August 2014 by the spokespersons of the VP/HR and of the Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Stefan Fule, on the arrest of Leyla Yunus,

– having regard to the statement of 6 August 2014 by the spokesperson of the VP/HR on the arrest of Rasul Jafarov,

– having regard to the EU statement of 14 August 2014 on the situation of human rights and civil society in Azerbaijan,

– having regard to the statement made on 8 September 2014 in Baku by Commissioner Fule regarding the crucial role played by civil society in the Eastern Partnership and his announcement of a new EU support programme for civil society in Azerbaijan, providing EUR 3 million in 2014-2015,

– having regard to the statement of 1 August 2014 by the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland, concerning the arrest of Leyla Yunus, director of the Institute for Peace and Democracy in Azerbaijan,

– having regard to the Baku Declaration adopted by the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly at its annual session from 28 June to 2 July 2014, in which concern is expressed 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,

– having regard to the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the EC and Azerbaijan, which entered into force in 1999, and to the ongoing negotiations between the two parties for a new agreement to replace the existing one,

– having regard to Rules 135(5) and 123(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas in the last few years the general human rights climate in Azerbaijan has been deteriorating, with a major escalation of government repression, pressure and intimidation directed at NGOs, civil society activists, journalists and human rights defenders taking place in recent months;

B. whereas since late July the government has targeted some of the country’s most prominent human rights defenders, imprisoning them on apparently politically motivated charges, with particular reference to the cases of Leyla Yunus, the well-known director of the Institute for Peace and Democracy, and her husband, the historian Arif Yunus, and Rasul Jafarov, chair of Azerbaijan’s Human Rights Club;

C. whereas the chair of Azerbaijan’s Legal Education Society, Intigam Aliyev, a human rights lawyer who has defended more than 200 cases before the European Court of Human Rights in the areas of infringement of freedom of speech, the right to a fair trial and electoral law in Azerbaijan, was arrested on 8 August 2014 and subjected to three month’s detention on criminal charges, an incident which confirms the growing tendency to silence and prosecute prominent human rights defenders in the country;

D. whereas it has been reported that Leyla Yunus has been subjected to acts of violence in prison committed by her cellmate, and that no measures have been taken to punish the cellmate or to ensure the protection of Ms Yunus; whereas although Ms Yunus’ health has deteriorated in prison, suitable medical care has not been provided;

E. whereas on 26 May 2014 Anar Mammadli, chair of the Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Centre (EMDS), and Bashir Suleymanli, director of the same centre, were sentenced to prison terms of, respectively, 5 years and 6 months and 3 years and 6 months, on charges ranging from tax evasion to illegal entrepreneurship;

F. whereas concurrently with the above, 8 activists of the non-governmental youth movement NIDA were convicted on charges of hooliganism, drug possession and possession of explosives, as well as intent to cause public disorder and, in addition, the social media activists Omar Mammadov, Abdul Abilov and Elsever Murselli were sentenced to between 5 and 5.5 years’ imprisonment on charges of drug possession, none of them having access to a lawyer of their own choosing and all complaining of ill-treatment in police custody;

G. whereas many more journalists, human rights defenders and activists are facing legal charges brought against them in Azerbaijan, including Hasan Huseynli, head of the Intelligent Citizen Enlightenment Centre Public Union, sentenced to 6 years’ imprisonment on 14 July 2014, and Rauf Mirkadirov, an investigative journalist with the leading Russian-language newspaper ‘Zerkalo’, held on pre-trial detention on charges of treason; whereas the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS), a leading media rights NGO in the country headed by the well-known and internationally recognised human rights defender Emin Huseynov, had its offices raided by the police on 8 August 2014; whereas another recently arrested figure is the prominent opposition journalist Seymur Haziyev, charged with criminal hooliganism and held in 2 months’ pre-trial custody;

H. whereas these cases are following in the wake of dozens of others affecting political activists, rights defenders, journalists, bloggers and social media activists, whom the authorities have imprisoned in the past two years on similarly trumped-up charges, including hooliganism, drug possession, tax evasion, and even treason; whereas the recent wave of arrests has had a severe ripple effect, compelling a number of well-known activists to flee the country or go into hiding;

I. whereas the independent Azerbaijani newspaper ‘Azadliq’ was forced to suspend publishing due to alleged financial problems, having previously had to face official pressure, apparently in connection to its reporting on corruption;

J. whereas the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has issued numerous rulings in cases of breaches of human rights in Azerbaijan, the latest being on 22 May 2014 in the case of Ilgar Mammadov, chair of the Republican Alternative Civic Movement (REAL); whereas despite it being ruled that his detention was politically motivated, the authorities refused to release him;

K. whereas there has been an effective ban on peaceful protesters demonstrating in central Baku since 2006, and new harsh fines and longer periods of administrative detention were recently introduced for those who organise or participate in unauthorised public gatherings

L. whereas the Azerbaijani authorities have not taken into account the opinions of the Council of Europe’s European Commission for Democracy through Law (the Venice Commission) on the laws relating to freedom of association, political parties and protection from defamation; whereas, furthermore, they have not given due consideration to the findings of the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights in his visits to the country;

M. whereas in February 2014 President Aliyev signed further amendments to the NGO Law, which now provides the authorities with additional powers for the temporary suspension or permanent banning of national and foreign NGOs in Azerbaijan, and introduces new offences punishable by fines, which have now been increased to AZN 2 500 – 3 000 (around EUR 2 600 – 3 100) for NGOs and AZN 1 000 – 2 000 (around EUR 1 000 – 2 000) for directors of national and foreign NGOs;

N. whereas the Oil Workers’ Rights Protection Organisation Public Union located in Baku has had its bank account frozen along with that of its leader, Gahramanova Mirvari Uzeyir, following a decision of 8 July 2014 of the Baku City Nasimi District Court;

O. whereas Azerbaijan is a member of the Council of Europe and a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights;

P. whereas on 14 May 2014 Azerbaijan took over as chair of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe;

1. Stresses that full respect for human rights, democratic principles, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law lies at the heart of the framework for cooperation within the EaP, and of the commitments made by Azerbaijan within the Council of Europe and the OSCE;

2. Condemns in the strongest possible terms the arrest and detention of Leyla Yunus, Arif Yunus, Rasul Jafarov, Intigam Aliyev and Hasan Huseyni, and demands their immediate and unconditional release as well as the withdrawal of all charges against them; demands an immediate and thorough investigation into the assault on Ilqar Nasibov, and calls for all those responsible to be brought to justice;

3. Calls on the authorities in Azerbaijan to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of Leyla Yunus, Arif Yunusov and all human rights defenders in Azerbaijan, and to ensure the urgent provision of suitable medical care, including medication and hospitalisation;

4. Reiterates its call on the Azerbaijani government to take concrete steps to improve the human rights situation in the country as a matter of urgent priority, including immediately and unconditionally releasing all political prisoners and ceasing politically motivated arrests;

5. Calls on the Azerbaijani authorities to cease their harassment and intimidation of civil society organisations, opposition politicians and independent journalists and to refrain from interfering in or undermining their valuable work for the development of democracy in Azerbaijan; also calls on them to ensure that all detainees, including journalists and political and civil society activists, enjoy their full rights to due process, in particular access to a lawyer of their choosing, access to their families, and other fair trial norms;

6. Deplores the actions taken by the Azerbaijani Government to curb contacts between civil society and youth activists and intellectuals from Armenia and Azerbaijan, since these contacts are of major importance for bridging the long-standing hostility between the two countries; in this regard, recalls the important work done in this area by Leyla Yunus and her husband Arif;

7. Urges the Government of Azerbaijan to inviteand fully cooperate with the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission and Commissioner and the UN special procedures, with regard to human rights defenders, the rights of freedom of association and peaceful assembly and freedom of expression and arbitrary detention, with the aim of amending its legislation and adapting its practices in line with the conclusions of the experts;

8. Calls on the Azerbaijani authorities to undertake, without further delay, the human rights reforms that are long overdue, including the many outstanding accession commitments Azerbaijan undertook when joining the Council of Europe, and to comply with the judgements against Azerbaijan that have been handed down by the European Court of Human Rights;

9. Calls on the Azerbaijani authorities to lift the ban on public gatherings in central Baku and to cease fining peaceful demonstrators or subjecting them to administrative detention;

10. Reaffirms its position that EU support for and cooperation with the Republic of Azerbaijan, including the ongoing negotiations for a Strategic Modernisation Partnership, must be conditional on and include clauses relating to the protection and promotion of human rights, especially with regard to freedom of the media, freedom of expression, freedom of association and freedom of assembly;

11. Stresses that its consent to the signature of a partnership agreement with Azerbaijan will be conditional on the satisfactory reflection of the above-mentioned requirements, the release of human rights defenders, the withdrawal of legislation restricting the operations of independent civil society, and the cessation of repression and intimidation of NGOs, independent media, opposition forces, human rights defenders and youth and social network activists;

12. Calls on the Council, the Commission and the EEAS to strictly apply the ‘more for more’ principle, focusing notably on the situation of human rights defenders (in line with the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders), arbitrary and politically motivated detentions, the independence of the judiciary, democratic reforms and fundamental rights and freedoms; calls in particular for a review of ENI programming, putting an end to all assistance which is not strictly HR/civil society-oriented;

13. Regrets that the fact that the EU-Azerbaijan human rights dialogue has made no substantial progress as regards the human rights situation in the country; calls on the EEAS to step up this dialogue with a view to making it effective and result-oriented, and to report regularly to Parliament;

14. Calls on the Government of Azerbaijan to simplify the current over-complicated and lengthy procedure for registration of NGOs, to introduce substantial legislative amendments in order to repeal the recent measures limiting NGOs’ freedom to accept donations without official registration, and to comply with the Council of Europe’s Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)14 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on the legal status of NGOs in Europe;

15. Calls on the Council and the Member States to urge the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to call on the Azerbaijani authorities to stop the crackdown, and make it clear that it expects them, as hosts of the European Olympic Games to be held next year, to uphold the Olympic Charter’s requirement to respect press freedoms;

16. Calls on the EEAS to fully apply the EU guidelines on Human Rights Defenders and to organise regular meetings at the EU Delegation in Baku with independent human rights organisations, including by coordinating those meetings with EU Member State representations, and to use those meetings to express public support for the work of human rights defenders; urges the EEAS to monitor closely all trials and judicial proceedings against human rights defenders and to report on the matter to Parliament;

17. Recalls its position of 24 May 2012, and calls on the Council to consider the possibility of targeted sanctions against those responsible for human rights violations, should these persist;

18. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the President, Government and Parliament of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the EEAS, the Council, the Commission and the Council of Europe.

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Europaparlamentets resolution om förföljelserna av människorättsförsvarare i Azerbajdzjan (2014/2832(RSP)) (SV)

PoliticsPosted by Jano 2014-09-20 02:09:43

Europaparlamentet utfärdar denna resolution

– med beaktande av sina tidigare resolutioner om situationen i Azerbajdzjan, särskilt av den 18 april 2012 med Europaparlamentets rekommendationer till rådet, kommissionen och Europeiska utrikestjänsten om förhandlingarna om associeringsavtalet mellan EU och Azerbajdzjan(1) och av den 13 juni 2013 om Azerbajdzjan: fallet Ilgar Mammadov(2),

– med beaktande av det gemensamma meddelandet från kommissionen och EU:s höga representant för utrikes frågor och säkerhetspolitik till Europaparlamentet, rådet, Europeiska ekonomiska och sociala kommittén och Regionkommittén Delivering on a new European Neighbourhood Policy (JOIN(2012)0014),

– med beaktande av kommissionens framstegsrapport om Azerbajdzjan inom ramen för den europeiska grannskapspolitiken, från mars 2014 (SWD(2014)0070),

– med beaktande av handlingsplanen EU–Azerbajdzjan inom ramen för den europeiska grannskapspolitiken,

– med beaktande av uttalandet av den 2 augusti 2014 från talesmännen för vice ordföranden för kommissionen/unionens höga representant och för kommissionsledamoten för utvidgningen och den europeiska grannskapspolitiken, Stefan Füle, om arresteringen av Leyla Yunus,

– med beaktande av uttalandet av den 6 augusti 2014 från talesmannen för vice ordföranden för kommissionen/unionens höga representant, om arresteringen av Rasul Jafarov,

– med beaktande av uttalandet från EU av den 14 augusti 2014 om situationen för mänskliga rättigheter och det civila samhället i Azerbajdzjan,

– med beaktande av uttalandet från kommissionsledamoten Füle den 8 september 2014 i Baku om det civila samhällets avgörande roll inom det östliga partnerskapet och hans tillkännagivande av ett nytt EU-stödprogram till det civila samhället i Azerbajdzjan, med 3 miljoner euro avsedda att ställas till förfogande under 2014–2015,

– med beaktande av uttalandet av den 1 augusti 2014 från Europarådets generalsekreterare Thorbjørn Jagland om arresteringen av Leyla Yunus, som är direktör för institutet för fred och demokrati i Azerbajdzjan,

– med beaktande av Bakudeklarationen som antogs av OSSE:s parlamentariska församling vid dess årliga session mellan den 28 juni och 2 juli 2014, där det uttrycktes oro över att administrativa förfaranden och lagstiftning missbrukades för att frihetsberöva, sätta i fängelse, skrämma eller på annat sätt tysta ned människorättsförsvarare i flera av OSSE:s deltagarstater,

– med beaktande av partnerskaps- och samarbetsavtalet mellan EU och Azerbajdzjan, som trädde i kraft 1999, och de pågående förhandlingarna mellan de båda parterna om ett nytt avtal avsett att ersätta det nuvarande avtalet,

– med beaktande av artiklarna 135.5 och 123.4 i arbetsordningen, och av följande skäl:

A. Under de senaste åren har klimatet för mänskliga rättigheter i Azerbajdzjan överlag blivit sämre och utmärkts av en massiv ökning av förtryck, påtryckningar och skrämsel som från statsmakternas sida under de närmast gångna månaderna riktats mot icke-statliga organisationer, aktivister inom det civila samhället, journalister och människorättsförsvarare.

B. Sedan slutet av juli i år har regeringen riktat in sig på några av landets främsta människorättsförsvarare och satt dem i fängelse på uppenbart politiskt motiverade anklagelser. I det sammanhanget kan framför allt nämnas fallen med Leyla Yunus, den välkända direktören för institutet för fred och demokrati i Azerbajdzjan och hennes make, historikern Arif Yunus, samt Rasul Jafarov, som är ordförande för Azerbajdzjans klubb för de mänskliga rättigheterna.

C. Ordföranden för Azerbajdzjans sällskap för rättsfostran, Intigam Aliyev, som är en människorättsjurist som försvarat fler än 200 fall inför Europadomstolen för de mänskliga rättigheterna inom områden såsom kränkningar av yttrandefriheten, rätten till rättvis rättegång samt vallagen i Azerbajdzjan, arresterades den 8 augusti 2014 och hölls frihetsberövad i tre månader såsom anklagad för brott. Detta bekräftar den tilltagande tendensen att tysta ned och lagföra framstående människorättsförsvarare i landet.

D. Leyla Yunus rapporteras ha blivit utsatt för våld i fängelset från sin cellkamrats sida och det berättas att ingenting gjorts vare sig för att straffa cellkamraten eller skydda Leyla Yunus. Fastän Leyla Yunus hälsa försämrats i fängelset har hon inte fått lämplig läkarvård.

E. Den 26 maj 2014 dömdes Anar Mammadli, som är ordförande för centrumet för valövervakning och studier av demokrati (EMDS), och Bashir Suleymanli, som är föreståndare för samma centrum, till fängelsestraff på 5 år och 6 månader respektive 3 år och 6 månader. De anklagades för en rad brott, från skatteflykt till olaglig företagarverksamhet.

F. Jämsides med det ovan anförda kom åtta aktivister inom den icke-statliga ungdomsrörelsen NIDA att dömas för huliganism, narkotikainnehav och innehav av sprängämnen, samt för avsikt att störa den allmänna ordningen. Dessutom dömdes Omar Mammadov, Abdul Abilov och Elsever Murselli, som är aktiva i sociala medier, till fängelsestraff på mellan 5 och 5,5 år för narkotikainnehav. Ingen av dem fick själv välja advokat och alla klagade på att de behandlats illa av polisen när de varit frihetsberövade.

G. Många andra journalister, människorättsförsvarare och aktivister står åtalade i Azerbajdzjan, bland dem Hasan Huseynli som är ledare för allmänna unionen för centrumet för förnuftig medborgarupplysning och som dömdes till sex års fängelse den 14 juli 2014, och Rauf Mirkadirov, som arbetar som undersökande journalist för den ryskspråkiga tidningen Zerkalo och som häktats för förräderi. Institutet för reportrars frihet och säkerhet är en ledande icke-statlig organisation i landet och arbetar med mediers rättigheter, under ledning av den välkände och internationellt erkände människorättsförsvararen Emin Huseynov. Den 8 augusti 2014 gjorde polisen ett tillslag mot dess byråer. En annan som arresterats på senaste tiden är den framstående oppositionsjournalisten Seymur Haziyev som anklagades för brottslig huliganism och hölls häktad i två månader.

H. Dessa fall följer på dussintals andra fall som involverar politiska aktivister, rättsförsvarare, journalister, bloggare och aktivister i de sociala medierna, som myndigheterna under de senaste två åren satt i fängelse utgående från liknande falska anklagelser, bland annat för huliganism, narkotikainnehav, skatteflykt och rentav förräderi. Den senaste arresteringsvågen har fått vittgående efterverkningar så att ett antal välkända aktivister tvingats fly från landet eller gå under jorden.

I. Den oberoende azerbajdzjanska tidningen Azadliq måste upphöra att komma ut till följd av påstådda ekonomiska problem, efter att dessförinnan ha råkat ut för officiella påtryckningar, av allt att döma i samband med sina reportage om korruptionen.

J. Europeiska domstolen för de mänskliga rättigheterna har avkunnat ett flertal domar i mål som berör brott mot de mänskliga rättigheterna i Azerbajdzjan. Så skedde senaste den 22 maj 2014 mot Ilgar Mammadov, ordföranden för medborgarrörelsen för ett republikanskt alternativ. Trots att det fastställdes att han frihetsberövats på politiska grunder vägrade myndigheterna att frige honom.

K. Sedan 2006 har det i praktiken varit förbjudet med fredliga protestdemonstrationer i centrala Baku, och på senaste tiden infördes nya bestämmelser om dryga böter och längre perioder av administrativt frihetsberövande för dem som anordnar eller deltar i otillåtna offentliga sammankomster.

L. Myndigheterna i Azerbajdzjan har inte beaktat utlåtandena från Europarådets europeiska kommission för demokrati genom lag (Venedigkommissionen) angående lagarna om föreningsfrihet, politiska partier och skydd mot förtal. Inte heller har de vederbörligen beaktat vad Europarådets kommissarie för mänskliga rättigheter kommit fram till vid sina besök i landet.

M. I februari 2014 undertecknade president Aliyev ytterligare ändringar av lagen om icke‑statliga organisationer, så att myndigheterna numera fått ytterligare befogenheter att tillfälligt dra in eller permanent förbjuda inhemska och utländska icke-statliga organisationer i Azerbajdzjan och så att det införs nya bötesbelagda brott, där böterna nu höjts till mellan 2 500 och 3 000 AZN(omkring 2 600 – 3 100 euro) för icke-statliga organisationer och mellan 1 000 och 2 000 AZN (omkring 1 000 – 2 000 euro) för ledarna för inhemska och utländska icke-statliga organisationer.

N. Den allmänna organisationen för skydd av oljearbetares rättigheter med säte i Baku har fått sitt bankkonto fryst, vilket också inträffat för dess ledare Gahramanova Mirvari Uzeyir, efter det att distriktsrätten i Nasimi i staden Baku fattat beslut om detta den 8 juli 2014.

O. Azerbajdzjan är medlem i Europarådet och har undertecknat den europeiska konventionen om skydd för de mänskliga rättigheterna och de grundläggande friheterna.

P. Den 14 maj 2014 övertog Azerbajdzjan ordförandeskapet för Europarådets ministerkommitté.

1. Europaparlamentet betonar att full respekt för mänskliga rättigheter, demokratins principer, grundläggande friheter och rättsstaten står i centrum för samarbetsramen inom det östliga partnerskapet liksom för Azerbajdzjans åtaganden inom ramen för Europarådet och OSSE.

2. Europaparlamentet fördömer på det skarpaste att Leyla Yunus, Arif Yunus, Rasul Jafarov, Intigam Aliyev och Hasan Huseyni arresterats och frihetsberövats och kräver att de omedelbart och ovillkorligen försätts på fri fot och att alla åtal mot dem läggs ned. Parlamentet kräver en omedelbar och genomgripande undersökning av angreppet på Ilqar Nasibov och yrkar på att alla ansvariga för det ska ställas inför rätta.

3. Europaparlamentet uppmanar Azerbajdzjans myndigheter att garantera fysisk och psykisk integritet för Leyla Yunus, Arif Yunusov och alla andra människorättsförsvarare i Azerbajdzjan samt att se till att de snabbt får lämplig medicinsk vård, också i form av läkemedel och sjukhusinläggning.

4. Europaparlamentet upprepar sin uppmaning till Azerbajdzjans myndigheter att de ska vidta konkreta åtgärder för att skyndsamt förbättra situationen för de mänskliga rättigheterna i landet, också genom att omedelbart och ovillkorligt frige alla politiska fångar och upphöra med att arrestera personer på politiskt motiverade grunder.

5. Europaparlamentet uppmanar Azerbajdzjans myndigheter att upphöra med trakasserier av och skrämseltaktik mot det civila samhällets organisationer, oppositionspolitiker och oberoende journalister och inte heller blanda sig i eller motverka deras värdefulla arbete för att det ska utvecklas en demokrati i Azerbajdzjan. Parlamentet uppmanar dem också att se till att alla frihetsberövade, bland dem journalister och aktivister inom politiken och det civila samhället, oinskränkt ges rätt till korrekt rättegång, framför allt att de fritt får välja advokat och kontakta sina familjer, samt omfattas av övriga normer för en rättvis rättegång.

6. Europaparlamentet beklagar djupt de åtgärder som vidtagits av statsmakterna i Azerbajdzjan för att begränsa kontakterna mellan det civila samhället och ungdomsaktivister och intellektuella från Armenien och Azerbajdzjan, eftersom dessa kontakter är av stor vikt för att den långvariga fiendskapen mellan de två länderna ska kunna överbryggas. Parlamentet erinrar i detta hänseende om det viktiga arbete som gjorts av Leyla Yunus och hennes make Arif.

7. Europaparlamentet uppmanar med kraft Azerbajdzjans regering att inbjuda och fullständigt samarbeta med Europarådets Venedigkommission och kommissarie och med FN:s särskilda förfaranden i fråga om människorättsförsvarare, rätterna till föreningsfrihet och fredliga sammankomster samt yttrandefrihet och skydd mot godtyckligt frihetsberövande, för att ändra sin lagstiftning och anpassa sin praxis utgående från de sakkunnigas slutsatser.

8. Europaparlamentet uppmanar Azerbajdzjans myndigheter att ofördröjligen genomföra de reformer av de mänskliga rättigheterna som borde ha gjorts för länge sedan, bland annat de många åtaganden som Azerbajdzjan ingick vid anslutningen till Europarådet och som ännu återstår att fullgöra, samt att rätta sig efter de domar mot Azerbajdzjan som avkunnats av Europadomstolen för de mänskliga rättigheterna.

9. Europaparlamentet uppmanar Azerbajdzjans myndigheter att upphäva förbudet mot offentliga sammankomster i centrala Baku och sluta upp med att bötfälla fredliga demonstranter eller utsätta dem för administrativt frihetsberövande.

10. Europaparlamentet bekräftar på nytt sin ståndpunkt om att EU:s stöd till och samarbete med Republiken Azerbajdzjan, bland annat de pågående förhandlingarna om ett partnerskap för strategisk modernisering, måste ha som villkor att de mänskliga rättigheterna skyddas och främjas samt innehålla klausuler om detta, framför allt i fråga om mediefriheten, yttrandefriheten, föreningsfriheten och mötesfriheten.

11. Europaparlamentet betonar att det kommer att vara ett villkor för att parlamentet ska godkänna undertecknandet av ett partnerskapsavtal med Azerbajdzjan att landet i tillfredsställande grad överväger de ovannämnda kraven, friger människorättsförsvarare, upphäver den lagstiftning som begränsar det oberoende civila samhällets verksamhet och upphör med förtrycket av och skrämseltaktiken mot oberoende medier, oppositionens krafter, människorättsförsvarare samt ungdomsaktivister och aktivister inom de sociala medierna.

12. Europaparlamentet uppmanar rådet, kommissionen och Europeiska utrikestjänsten att strikt tillämpa principen om ”mer för mer” och då framför allt inrikta sig på situationen för människorättsförsvarare (såsom det förutsätts i EU:s riktlinjer om människorättsförsvarare) samt på godtyckliga och politiskt motiverade frihetsberövanden, rättsväsendets oberoende, demokratiska reformer och grundläggande rättigheter och friheter. Parlamentet vill framför allt ha en översyn av programplaneringen inom den europeiska grannskapspolitiken så det blir slut på allt bistånd som inte strikt inriktar sig på mänskliga rättigheter och det civila samhället.

13. Europaparlamentet beklagar att det inom dialogen om de mänskliga rättigheterna mellan EU och Azerbajdzjan inte gjorts några framsteg med situationen för de mänskliga rättigheterna i landet. Parlamentet uppmanar Europeiska utrikestjänsten att intensifiera denna dialog för att den ska bli effektiv och resultatinriktad och regelbundet rapportera till parlamentet.

14. Europaparlamentet uppmanar Azerbajdzjans regering att förenkla dagens alltför invecklade och långdragna förfarande för registrering av icke-statliga organisationer, att radikalt ändra lagstiftningen för att upphäva de nuvarande åtgärderna som begränsar icke-statliga organisationers frihet att ta emot donationer utan officiell registrering och att rätta sig efter Europarådets rekommendation CM/Rec(2007)14 från ministerkommittén till medlemsstaterna om icke-statliga organisationers rättsliga ställning i Europa.

15. Europaparlamentet uppmanar rådet och medlemsstaterna att yrka på att Internationella olympiska kommittén ska uppmana Azerbajdzjans myndigheter att sluta med sina tillslag och göra det klart för dem att kommittén förväntar sig att de, såsom värdar för de europeiska olympiska spelen som ska hållas nästa år, ska respektera den olympiska stadgans krav om pressfrihet.

16. Europaparlamentet uppmanar Europeiska utrikestjänsten att fullständigt tillämpa EU:s riktlinjer om människorättsförsvarare och att hos EU:s delegation i Baku anordna regelbundna sammankomster med oberoende människorättsorganisationer, också genom att samordna dessa sammankomster med EU:s medlemsstaters representationer och använda dem för att uttrycka offentligt stöd till människorättsförsvararnas arbete. Parlamentet uppmanar Europeiska utrikestjänsten att noggrant övervaka alla rättegångar och rättsliga förfaranden mot människorättsförsvarare och rapportera om dem till Europaparlamentet.

17. Europaparlamentet erinrar om sin ståndpunkt av den 24 maj 2014 och uppmanar rådet att överväga om riktade sanktioner skulle kunna vidtas mot dem som är ansvariga för brott mot de mänskliga rättigheterna, ifall dessa kränkningar skulle fortgå.

18. Europaparlamentet uppdrar åt talmannen att översända denna resolution till Republiken Azerbajdzjans president, regering och parlament, Europeiska utrikestjänsten, rådet, kommissionen och Europarådet.

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