| Den norske Helsingforskomité

Establishing the Natalia Estemirova Documentation Center in Oslo

Establishing the Natalia Estemirova Documentation Center in Oslo

During a conference on Strengthening Human Rights in Russia organized by the Norwegian Helsinki Committee in cooperation with Amnesty International Norway in Oslo on September 19-22 this year, a resolution on establishing the Natalia Estemirova Documentation Center was adopted by a group of nine leading Russian and international human rights organizations.

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Request for immediate and unconditional release of Eynulla Emin Fatullayev

(26/04-2010) In a letter to the government of Azerbaijan, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, together with members of the Human Rights House Network call upon the Azerbaijani authorities to immediately execute the decision of the European Court of Human Rights from 22 April 2010 in the case ‘Fatullayev v. Azerbaijan’ (application no 40984/07), to release the journalist from detention and compensate him for the damages he has suffered.

A common statement on human rights in Azerbaijan

(22/06-2010) In connection with the June 2010 session of the Council of Europa Parliamentary assembly (PACE) the Norwegian Helsinki Committee and Human Rights House Foundation have initiated an update of our joint statement on the human rights situation in Azerbaijan. The statement was delivered to all PACE delegations as well as key rapporteurs and experts during the session.

Grave attack against freedom of expression

(11/05-2010) Together with the Human Rights House Foundation, Norwegian PEN, English PEN, Norwegian Union of Journalists, Rafto Foundation, Index of Censorship and ARTICLE 19, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee condemn the illegal confiscation of material and documentary footage from the Norwegian filmmaker Erling Borgen and the cameraman Dag Inge Dahl in Baku Airport on May 6, 2010. We call upon Azerbaijani authorities to honour Azerbaijan’s international human rights obligations and restore the seized property to the owners.

Human Rights Organisations Welcome PACE Resolution on Azerbaijan

(29/06-2010) On 24 June, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted Resolution 1750 on the functioning of democratic institutions in Azerbaijan. ARTICLE 19, the Human Rights House Foundation, the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety, and the Norwegian Helsinki Committee welcome the adoption of the resolution. We call upon the Azerbaijani government to implement the recommendations contained in the resolution, and urge PACE to sustain its efforts to monitor the human rights situation in Azerbaijan.

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NHC participates in the Warsaw Human Dimension Review Conference

(01/10-2010) The Norwegian Helsinki Committee will be very active during the Warsaw Human Dimension Session of the 2010 OSCE Review conference the first week of October. This is the first part of a three-part review conference ahead of the OSCE Summit to be held in Astana on 1-2 December 2010, in which NHC also will take part. Project-coordinator Lene Wetteland and recently appointed program manager of our Almaty office Parvina Abduvakhobova will be at the conference and will present several NHC interventions.

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A call for the release of editor Eynullah Fatullayev

(22/10-2010) -We call upon your government to fully comply with the European Court of Human Rights’ judgment, including by immediately and unconditionally releasing Mr Fatullayev. We further urge your government to do its utmost to ensure Mr Fatullayev’s health and safety in detention, in accordance with Azerbaijan’s international legal obligations. Eleven international NGOs, including Norwegian Helsinki Committee, today urges the President of Azerbaijan to comply with the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights. On 4 October the Azerbaijani Government's request for a referral to the Grand Chamber was rejected by the Court, and the imprisoned editor is now on a hunger strike. In July, Fatullayev was convicted on new and highly improbable charges, this time for drug possession while in prison.

President Ilham Aliyev
The Presidential Palace
Istiqlaliyyat Street 19
Baku 1066
Azerbaijan

Via facsimile: +994 12 492 3543 and +994 12 492 0625
Via e-mail: office@pa.gov.az

 

Dear President Aliyev,

ARTICLE 19, Committee to Protect Journalists, Freedom House, Human Rights House Foundation, Index on Censorship, Institute for War and Peace Reporting, International Federation of Journalists, Media Diversity Institute, Norwegian Helsinki Committee, and Reporters Without Borders are writing to express our strong concern regarding the continued imprisonment of Editor-in-chief Eynulla Fatullayev, which constitutes a breach of Azerbaijan’s international legal obligations and a violation of Mr Fatullayev’s rights.

As a member state of the Council of Europe and a party to the European Convention on Human Rights, Azerbaijan is obligated to comply with judgments of the European Court of Human Rights. As you are aware, on 22 April this year, the European Court ruled that Mr Fatullayev’s imprisonment constituted a violation of his freedom of expression and right to a fair trial and ordered the Azerbaijani Government to immediately release him and to pay him €27,822 for damages and legal expenses. Since the request of the Azerbaijani Government to have the case referred to the Grand Chamber was rejected on 4 October, the European Court’s decision in the case has become effective.

We are deeply disturbed by the latest charge against Mr Fatullayev of drug possession, for which he currently remains in prison. As Miklos Haraszti publicly stated as OSCE Representative for Freedom of the Media in December 2009, this charge is “highly improbable”, and “aimed at pre-empting the European Court of Human Rights’ [then] expected verdict”.

We call upon your government to fully comply with the European Court of Human Rights’ judgment, including by immediately and unconditionally releasing Mr Fatullayev. We further urge your government to do its utmost to ensure Mr Fatullayev’s health and safety in detention, in accordance with Azerbaijan’s international legal obligations.

 

Sincerely yours,

Agnès Callamard, Executive Director, ARTICLE 19
Joel Simon, Executive Director, Committee to Protect Journalists
Paula Schriefer, Director of Advocacy, Freedom House
Ane Tusvik Bonde, Regional Manager for Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, Human Rights House Foundation
Rohan Jayasekera, Associate Editor and Deputy Chief Executive, Index on Censorship
Tony Borden, Executive Director, Institute for War and Peace Reporting
Aidan White, General Secretary, International Federation of Journalists
Milica Pesic, Executive Director, Media Diversity Institute
Bjørn Engesland, Secretary General, Norwegian Helsinki Committee
Jean-François Julliard, Secretary General, Reporters Without Borders
Virginie Jouan, Executive Director, Press Freedom and Media Development, World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA)

 

CC: Minister of Justice Fikrat Mammadov
Inshaatchilar Avenue 1
Baku, Azerbaijan
Via facsimile: +994 12 430 0981
Via e-mail: contact@justice.gov.az

 

Continued violations of freedom of expression in Azerbaijan::

Editor Eynullah Fattullayev remains imprisoned

(17/11-2010) Last week, the Azerbaijani Supreme Court decided that imprisoned opposition editor Eynullah Fattullayev would not be released from prison, despite repeated calls from the Council of Europe and other international organisations. In April this year, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the sentence issued in 2007 of 8 ½ years imprisonment for, amongst other, terrorism and defamation, had violated his right to freedom of expression and a fair trial. The Azerbaijani government brought the decision to the Court’s Grand Chamber, from which it was dismissed.

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Council of Europe Committee of Ministers Calls for Eynulla Fatullayev’s Release

(10/12-2010) The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is among the members of the International Partnership Group for Azerbaijan who is deeply concerned by the Azerbaijani government’s failure to comply with the European Court of Human Rights’ judgment in the case of imprisoned Azerbaijani journalist Eynulla Fatullayev. These international organisations welcome the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers’ recent decision in Fatullayev’s case and call on the Azerbaijani government to mark International Human Rights Day by immediately and unconditionally releasing Fatullayev from prison.

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Remembering Anna

Russland:

Remembering Anna

(07/10-2010) Today, on 7 October, it is four years since the prominent and courageous Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya was shot and killed at the entrance of her apartment in Moscow. We remember Anna particularly for her commitment in Chechnya.

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The Norwegian Helsinki Committee extends its congratulations to the 2010 Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo

Kina:

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee extends its congratulations to the 2010 Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo

(08/10-2010)- We hope that the Nobel Peace prize to Liu Xiaobo will contribute to improving the situation for him and other human rights defenders in China, says Bjørn Engesland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee.

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Positive impressions from observing the parliamentary elections

Kyrgyzstan:

Positive impressions from observing the parliamentary elections

(11/10-2010) The general impressions from observing the parliamentary elections in Kyrgyzstan are positive, NHC election observer Parvina Abduvakhobova in Bishkek concludes.

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Russland:

Lack of effective implementation of the resolution on North Caucasus

(14/12-2010) International and Russian human rights organizations have sent a letter to the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe expressing concern with the lack of effective implementation of its resolution 1738 (2010) on Legal remedies for human rights defenders in North Caucasus.

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Kosovo:

Criminal Investigation is needed

(22/12-2010) - Inhuman treatment of prisoners in informal camps and illicit trafficking in human organs in Kosovo and Albania are terrible crimes which demand investigation.

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A boycott will leave the Serb community stuck in a ghetto

A boycott will leave the Serb community stuck in a ghetto

(06/12-2010) In an open letter signed by 104 of Serbia’s leading intellectuals, the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia appeals to Serbs in Kosovo to vote in the upcoming extraordinary parliamentary elections to be held on 12 December 2010.

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Revolution, reform or stagnation?

Revolution, reform or stagnation?

(06/12-2010) -On the surface we have been seeing a different kind of Lukashenko the last few months, with less tension, repressions and sense of intimidation, both Tatiana Reviaka and Pavel Sheremet noted during the seminar at the House of Literature.

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Training of prison monitors from Russia

Training of prison monitors from Russia

(14/12-2010) The Norwegian Helsinki Committee held its second training seminar for representatives from the Public Observation Commissions of Archangelsk, Murmansk and the Karelian Republic.

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Serbian activists denounce Serbian boycott of ceremony

(09/12-2010) A large number of Serbian human rights activists have signed a petition in which they strongly disapprove their government’s decision to boycott the ceremony of The Nobel Peace Prize bestowal on Liu Xiaobo.

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Council of Europe Committee of Ministers Calls for Eynulla Fatullayev’s Release

Council of Europe Committee of Ministers Calls for Eynulla Fatullayev’s Release

(10/12-2010) Members of the International Partnership Group for Azerbaijan call on the Azerbaijani government to immediately and unconditionally release Fatullayev from prison.

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Til inspirasjon og ettertanke

Til inspirasjon og ettertanke

(15/09-2010) I en fullsatt prøvesal i Det norske teatret mottok Svetlana Vitkovskaja, Rosa Akylbekova og Yurij Gussakov på vegne av prisvinnerne Jevgeny Zhovtis og Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law. Prisutdelingen ble en seremoni til inspirasjon og ettertanke, som viste hvordan enkeltpersoner tar høy risiko ved sitt arbeid for fremme av menneskerettigheter og demokrati i mange av de land Den norske Helsingforskomité arbeider i.

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Medvedev's Russia – moving towards democracy?

Medvedev's Russia – moving towards democracy?

(24/09-2010) With the ascension of Dmitry Medvedev to the Russian presidency, a new kind of political rhetoric entered the Kremlin. Medvedev says he wants to combat legal nihilism, and has pledged reform and modernization. Do the modernization plans offer possibilities for Russian human rights groups, asked Secretary General Bjørn Engesland in the Norwegian Helsinki Committee in his introduction at a public seminar organised by the Norwegian Helsinki Committee on 22 September.

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