Congratulations Anar Mammadli | Den norske Helsingforskomité

Congratulations, Anar Mammadli!

Congratulations, Anar Mammadli!

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is very pleased to learn that the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize 2014 has been awarded to the renowned Azerbaijani independent election observer and human rights defender Anar Mammadli.

 - Anar Mammadli is a respected human rights defender that for years has promoted democratic elections through election observation, revealing the truth about elections in Azerbaijan and never afraid to stand up to the Azernaijani authorities. In the end he had to go to prison for his work. On behalf of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee I warmly congratulate Anar with this well deserved prize, says Secretary general Bjørn Engesland.

Anar Mammadli is Chairman of the Baku-based Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Centre (EMDS), and a longtime partner of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee. He is also co-founder and board member of the European Platform for Democratic Elections, together with NHC.

Mammadli is currently serving a five and-a-half years in prison sentence for tax evasion, illegal business activities, and using their office to falsify election results, a court decision which is clearly political in its basis and a likely reaction to the critical statements made by Mammadli in Baku on the Presidential elections in Azerbaijan in October 2013.

When presenting the trophy, PACE President Anne Brasseur, chair of the selection panel, said: “Mr Mammadli’s commitment lies in the area of promoting democratic institutions and civil and political rights. Anar Mammadli is our long-standing partner who shared with our Assembly, but also with other bodies of the Council of Europe, including its Commissioner for human rights, his valuable expertise on the situation in his country.”

Read the official announcement of the Vaclav Havel Prize here.

Read more about Anar Mammadli's court case here.

Access European Platform for Democratic Elections, here.