The letter is signed by 18 international civil society organisations, including the Human Rights House Foundation.
Read the full letter and associated briefing note on the conditions for civil society in Azerbaijan.
It asks members of the EITI board to suspend Azerbaijan from membership in the initiative, until the government addresses the following issues:
- Abolish the NGO legislation restricting the activities of NGOs, in line with the 2014 opinion of the Venice Commission and introduce legislation enabling normal working environment for civil society
- Abolish legislation and regulations imposing excessive requirements and approvals for access and using foreign funding
- Immediately and unconditionally release all political prisoners held in Azerbaijan, including members of the EITI coalition: Asif Yusifli and Fuad Gahramanli
- Discontinue the fabricated criminal proceedings launched as a means of pressuring independent NGOs and government critics, unblock the bank accounts of NGOs and their leaders, end arbitrary bans on the sale of books by authors critical of the government, and lift the foreign travel bans imposed on heads of NGOs and others.
- Civil society organisations call on EITI Board to suspend Azerbaijan
The letter from 18 international civil society organisations addresses members of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), urging them to “suspend Azerbaijan from participation in EITI, due to continuous breach of the initiative’s requirements for fostering an enabling environment for civil society.” It is accompanied by a briefing note on the conditions for civil society in Azerbaijan.