The activity of NGOs is seriously limited in Azerbaijan - PACE report

Strasbourg/27.06.18/Turan: On June 27 the PACE summer session adopted the report of the deputy from Luxembourg, Yves Krusen, on violations of the rights of civil society in several member states of the Council of Europe. Azerbaijan was included the list of countries-violators, where the conditions for the activities of non-governmental organizations, including legislative measures, have seriously worsened.

Earlier, the Council of Europe had already called on the authorities to abolish legislation on NGOs, imposing inappropriate restrictions on their activities and taking into account the opinion of the Venice Commission.

However, in 2015-2016 the authorities of Azerbaijan tightened the country's legislation on the rights of NGOs, banned the activities of foreign donors in Azerbaijan, took full control of the activities of NGOs, effectively prohibiting NGOs from receiving foreign grants.

It is because of this that the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) has lowered, and then suspended, Azerbaijan's membership in this structure.

Many international organizations have criticized this policy, in response, the authorities only tightened repression against civil activists and in fact routed the country's independent NGOs, accusing them of working against hostile foreign circles.

Despite the numerous calls and resolutions of the Council of Europe calling for official Baku to end this policy, the Azerbaijani authorities continue to ignore them, the report says. -02D-

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