HRHF calls upon Azerbaijan to stop harassing human rights defenders at United Nations

In its intervention on 5 March 2013 at the Human Rights Council, the Human Rights House Foundation called upon Azerbaijan to stop harassing human rights defenders, including Intigam Aliyev who was awarded with the Homo Homini Award on 4 March 2013.

Download full HRHF’s statement on the right

The Human Rights House Foundation welcomes the reports of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, including the one to the General Assembly on legislation affecting human rights defenders. We are equaly concerned as the Special Rapporteur by the fact that more and more countries misuse or design legislation in order to impede or even criminalise the work of human rights defenders, or to label them as “foreign agents” such as in the Russian Federation, as underlined by the Special Rapporteur in her public statement of 12 July 2012.

HRHF wished to welcome the communications issued on events in the Republic of Azerbaijan, as published in the addendum to her report, including the ones about the closure of the Azerbaijan Human Rights House on 16 March 2011 and about the warnings against 2 NGOs threatened to be closed for their online publications on 5 March 2012. We regret that this communication has not received an answer to date. We also regret that Azerbaijan has not to date replied to the communication of the Special Rapporteur in relation to the arrest of photographer and blogger Mehman Huseynov, case we already brought to the attention of the Council in July 2012.

HRHF’s Ane Tusvik Bonde and Intigam Aliyev with the Homo Homini Award received on 4 March 2013Azerbaijan continues to use detention of human rights defenders as a tool to silence them. Most recently, on Saturday 26 January 2013, Intigam Aliyev was amongst 47 other demonstrators arrested for peacefully protesting in Baku. He is awarded as we speak here in Geneva with the Homo Homini Award for human rights in Prague, for his exceptional and courageous work in favour of human rights. We call upon Azerbaijan to cancel Intigam Aliyev’s disbarment and stop harassing and impeding his NGO, a close partner of the Azerbaijan Human Rights House. The highest penalty in relation to this protest was imposed on Emin Milli who was sentenced to administrative detention for 15 days for promoting the peaceful protest on Facebook in violation of article 298.1 and 298.2 of the code of the Republic of Azerbaijan on administrative offences. Emin Milli was previously detained for 16 months along with Adnan Hajizade for publishing a critical video on Youtube.

HRHF with members of the Human Rights House Network also submitted a written statement on the situation in Azerbaijan (download on the right).

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