Thirty organizations applied to the EU in connection with Azerbaijan

Baku / 14.11.17 / Turan: "Reporters without borders" and 36 other international human rights organizations sent a letter to the leadership of the European Union, asking to use all existing opportunities and urge President Ilham Aliyev to stop oppressing human rights. The authors of the letter called for putting pressure on the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev in connection with this issue during the summit in Brussels on November 24, at which he will participate. The letter contains calls for the immediate unconditional release of political prisoners, especially independent journalists, about respect for human rights, the elimination of the ban on the departure of investigative journalist Khadija Ismail from the country. "We ask you to use the opportunities during the summit and urge President Aliyev to stop the bans and pressure on human rights, as well as to commit to human rights reforms in Azerbaijan," the letter said.

The authors of the letter emphasize that the recent steps taken by the Azerbaijani government have run counter to the spirit of cooperation with Europe. The letter notes the importance of efforts to end the wave of repression, stop the arrests of dissidents on trumped-up charges. "The Aliyev government destroyed the independent press, applied censorship on the Internet, tries to silence independent journalists, civil society and political activists," the letter said. The authors believe that any negotiations on cooperation between Azerbaijan and the EU depend on progress towards respect for fundamental human rights. -0-

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