Civic Solidarity Platform condemns arrest of protesters
In a statement the Civic Solidarity Platform and the International Partnership Group for Azerbaijan (IPGA) condemn the harsh response by the Azerbaijani authorities to recent protests in the country. They call on the Council of Europe to ensure that Azerbaijan respects its human rights obligations as a member state and stop punishing critical voices, including human rights defenders and journalists. NHC is a member of bothe the Civil Solidarity Platform and IPGA and we support the statement.
Following last week’s protests in Ismayilli and Baku, which were brutally dispersed by police, 50 protesters were arrested including the prominent blogger Emin Milli, human rights defender and Rafto Prize winner Malahat Nasibova and investigative journalist, Fritt Ord Foundation and ZEIT Foundation award winner Khadija Ismayilova. Several demonstrators received high penalties, including Emin Milli who was sentenced to administrative detention for 15 days. Others were given high fines.
Recent amendments to the law on assemblies have significantly increased the fines for organizers and participants of illegal demonstrations, which is worryingly similar to recent legislative amendments in the Russian Federation.
In its statement, the Civic Solidarity Platform and the International Partnership Group for Azerbaijan call on the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, to highlight the problem of the detention of demonstrators during his upcoming visit to Azerbaijan, for the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers to debate the participation of Azerbaijan in the Council of Europe, which it is scheduled to chair in May-November 2013, and for the European Parliament to adopt a resolution on these recent detentions in Azerbaijan during the plenary session scheduled for 4-7 February 2013.
For the full statement, click here