NGOs call for action at UN Human Rights Council

44 non-governmental organisations, including partners and members of the Human Rights House Network, urge the Human Rights Council to raise concern relating to fundamental freedoms in Azerbaijan.

See the full letter sent to UN permanent representations in Geneva on 21 February 2012 on the right

The NGOs believe it is critically important for the Human Rights Council to condemn the repression against the rights of peaceful assembly, association and expression carried out in Azerbaijan, and to demand for the immediate release of political prisoners and for the government of Azerbaijan to stop, without delay, oppressing human rights defenders, journalists, media workers and social media users.

The NGOs welcome the new “National Program for Action to Raise Effectiveness of the Protection of Human Rights and Freedoms in the Republic of Azerbaijan”, which includes concrete steps to improve the protection and promotion of human rights and rule of law. To ensure that the Program for Action will be implemented and carried out within the set timeframe, the NGOs urge the Azerbaijani authorities to acknowledge civil society’s role in the implementation, and hence, include them in the process. A precondition for a successful implementation of the Program for Action is that Azerbaijani authorities immediately stop the ongoing repression against civil society actors like human rights defenders, journalists and lawyers.

Therefore, the NGOs call upon Azerbaijan’s authorities to abide by their international obligations and to immediately implement United Nations recommendations, paying special attention to include civil society within the process and to cooperate with the United Nations Special Rapporteurs on freedom of peaceful assembly and association, human rights defenders, freedom of expression and on the independence of judges and lawyers.

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