To mark the opening ceremony, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, together with other organisations in the Human Rights House Oslo, is demanding the unconditional release of the country´s jailed journalists, human rights defenders and activists.
The list now comprises of 80 names, as compared to the 98 which were included in the list published in August last year. Although this means that there have been some very welcome releases, the Government of Azerbaijan continues its policy of imprisoning what they consider opponents.
The last few weeks, prominent human rights defenders Rasul Jafarov and Intigam Aliyev were convicted to many years' prison. Relatives of the laureates received the award in an emotional ceremony at Hotel Bristol on 13 November. The call comes after the human rights defender Rasul Jafarov and human rights lawyer Intigam Aliyev were sentenced to 6,5 and 7,5 years respectively in Baku. The charges against them were trumped up and politically motivated, their trials deeply flawed.
For a Europe without political prisoners: Se full program below. The initiative is implemented on the ground by local partner and associate organisations in the regions. NHC is working with the partners to develop and deliver a broad-ranging educational programme for close to students, journalists and civic activists.
Statements of concerns from European leaders are only benefitting the Aliyev regime said Vugar Gojayev, human rights defender in exile and NHC project coordinator in the discussion after the screening of Amazing Azerbaijan at the Human Rights Human Wrongs film festival on Saturday.
It uses a tolerance facade and denials of reality to camouflage serious human rights violations. This shows that there is no end to the assault on independent voices by the government of this oil rich country and provides further proof of its disregard for founding values of the Council of Europe and its obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights. De utviser mot og stor innsats i å fremme verdighet, demokratiske verdier og menneskerettigheter. Aserbajdsjan er et europeisk land som utvikler seg stadig mer i retning av et diktatur.
Prisen tildeles dem alle. Det er et trist faktum at det er alt for mange av dem til at vi kan nevne hver og én. Les Etats démocratiques doivent oeuvrer pour protéger les défenseurs en danger. The list, containing as many as 98 names, was compiled under the leadership of Leyla Yunus and Rasul Jafarov. Both Leylas and Rasuls own names have been added to the list the last few weeks.
The lawyer Intigam Aliyev was arrested Friday 8 August, and was the fourth human rights activist who in a short time have been detained in Azerbaijan. This means that in the two last weeks, four of the most prominent human rights defenders in Azerbaijan have been sent to prison, all under investigation for serious crimes and risking many years behind bars if convicted.
The four have all been outspoken critics of the regime of President Ilham Aliyev, and by the move Azerbaijan once again shows a blatant contempt towards the European Convention on Human Rights.
Together with the Civic Solidarity Platform, a coalition of 60 human rights NGOs of the OSCE region, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee calls upon the authorities of Azerbaijan to release the human rights defender Rasul Jafarov and stop putting pressure on the civil society of the country. Read the statement in full below. Senior European policy makers, parliamentarians, and human rights activists gathered to discuss what different institutions — the Council of Europe, the European Union and international human rights organisations — must do to realise the vision of a Europe without political prisoners in the near future.
Late last night we learned that Leyla Yunus and her husband, historian Arif Yunus were detained at the airport as they were leaving for a conference abroad. They were refused exit from the country, their luggage and home were searched. They call on the Council of Europe to ensure that Azerbaijan respects its human rights obligations as a member state and stop punishing critical voices, including human rights defenders and journalists.
The daily newspaper Azadliq, one of the few remaining opposition news outlets, is now in danger of succumbing to efforts to throttle it financially. NHC joins other human rights defenders in voicing concern at the situation.
Last April, Russian partner Golos was convicted for failing to comply with NGO-legislation and failing to register as 'foreign agents'. They did this despite the widespread and reliable reports of fraud, pressure against voters and other manipulations. The International Partnership Group on Azerbaijan, in which NHC is a partner, urge the UN to take Azerbaijan to task for failing to implement the commitments it made after its first review in Read the full statement below.
Since the start of the year, Azerbaijani authorities have broken up rallies arresting peaceful protesters and opposition leaders. Journalists, writers and bloggers have been harassed and 75 year-old acclaimed author Akram Aylisli has been subjected to severe threats even from the members of the national parliament. Proposals for restrictive legislation, running counter to international standards for freedom of association and expression, has been fielded.
On Wednesday 23 January, the vote on two crucial resolutions on Azerbaijan will be an opportunity for the Assembly to show its genuine commitment to its human rights principles. The aim of the program is to contribute to building knowledge and trust between people in a region marked by conflict and human rights violations.
Activities include education and training, network building, advocacy and activism. The Norwegian Helsinki Committee, present in Baku this week, is a member of the coalition. In a letter adressed to President Ilham Aliyev the NHC demands that the Azerbaijani authorities launch an immediate, independent and transparent investigation into these brutal attacks.
Read the letter in full below. The report highlights the climate of fear and pervasive self-censorship in Azerbaijan, with few brave journalists, bloggers and activists remaining. The most recent episode in the harassment campaign involves a one minute film of an intimate nature being posted on the internet on Wednesday March A week earlier Ismayilova said she had received a letter including intimate photographs and a threat, stating "Whore, behave. Ismayilova has refused to give in to the blackmail attempts.
None of these attacks have been seriously investigated or prosecuted, resulting in a climate of impunity for those who wish to use violence to silence critical voices. Some of the basic conditions for holding elections are public debate, a free press and equal conditions for all political forces in the country.
Neither is present in Azerbaijan, says Lindeman. I går besøkte han Helsingforskomiteen. Mirgadirov er politisk kommentator i den russiskspråklige dagsavisen Zerkalo og dens aserbajdsjanskspråklige utgave Ayna, og er en av de viktigste politiske kommentatorene i Aserbajdsjan.
Mirgadirov har klare meninger om hvordan Norge bør forholde seg til Aserbajdsjan: Den diplomatiske enigheten som preger den dialogen, må forlates. Utviklingen går ikke i riktig retning, og Norge og vesten bør i langt større grad true, og sette i verk, sterke sanksjoner mot myndighetene, uttalte Mirgadirov. To av dem er på besøk i Oslo til torsdag. The complaint against her is based on an interview where she pointed out that several officials in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have been convicted for kidnapping a few years ago.
The statements where published on the web-page Day. The libel case brought against Leyla Yunus contributes to aggravating an already serious situation. The Russian journalist Zoya Svetova, the azerbaijani journalist Natiq Gavadli and the Azerbaijani newspaper Azaliq will receive their prizes together with the other winners at the Norwegian Nobel Institute on 3 june.
The prize will hopefully lead to a greater focus on the grave situation for independent press and human rights in Azerbaijan. The hastily called referendum was never subjected to a meaningful public debate, which would have allowed for raising any relevant concerns related to the Constitutional reforms. The speedy procedure also puts into question the legality of the called referendum. The amended law allows the government to collect information on NGOs without referring to any specific purpose articulated in this or other laws.
This concern was expressed in a letter the above mentioned organisations sent to the Minister of Justice Fikrat Mammadov on friday 6 November.
Even though visits were conducted also in , and the Government of Azerbaijan has not agreed to publish any of the reports since The delegation visited several places of detention as well as hospitals and psychiatric institutions and received several credible allegations from prisoners of deliberate physical ill-treatment and excessive use of force by prison officers.
The delegation also revealed insufficient health care systems, overcrowding and excessive use on confinement of prisoners to the cell. Although some improvements to the physical conditions of places of detention was observed, the conditions in non-refurbished ward remains poor. At that time, a group of some fifty sportsmen studying at Sport faculty of the University urged the activists to leave the University campus.
When refused, the sportsmen dragged out the activists and fell them down and beat them heavily. We call upon the Azerbaijani government to implement the recommendations contained in the resolution, and urge PACE to sustain its efforts to monitor the human rights situation in Azerbaijan.
Project-coordinator Lene Wetteland and recently appointed program manager of our Almaty office Parvina Abduvakhobova will be at the conference and will present several NHC interventions. On 4 October the Azerbaijani Government's request for a referral to the Grand Chamber was rejected by the Court, and the imprisoned editor is now on a hunger strike. In July, Fatullayev was convicted on new and highly improbable charges, this time for drug possession while in prison.
The statement was delivered to all PACE delegations as well as key rapporteurs and experts during the session. In April this year, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the sentence issued in of 8 ½ years imprisonment for, amongst other, terrorism and defamation, had violated his right to freedom of expression and a fair trial.
The purpose of the visit to PACE is to raise the grave human rights situation in Nakhchivan as well as the media situation in general in Azerbaijan. In January nine years ago, Azerbaijan became a full member of this European human rights body, on condition of improving several areas of its democracy and human rights conduct.
Azerbaijan has largely failed to fulfill its commitment, and we believe that the Council of Europe may intensify its efforts to push the Azerbaijani Government into taking real steps to secure the rule of law for Azerbaijani citizens and to allow or a free press, Lindeman says.
As the Azerbaijan freedom of expression community mourns the loss of Rafiq, the International Partnership Group for Azerbaijan IPGA calls for an end to the cycle of impunity in the country and for an independent, impartial investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death. We have in particular emphasized the deficiencies in the rule of law and the sharp increase in the number of political prisoners in the country. We also present a list of political prisoners and bring up the lawless situation in the Autonomous republic of Nakhchivan.
Their convictions adds to an already long list of political convictions in Azerbaijan in , and comes just days after the Norwegian Helsinki Committee called for the release of Azerbaijani political prisoners at the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation meeting in Warsaw, Poland.
In our interventions at the meeting we will focus on freedom of religion in Central Asia, rule of law in Azerbaijan, Belarus and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and freedom of expression in Macedonia, Bosnia and Serbia.
We are organising a side-event on lack of justice after major human rights violations in Russia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Additionally we organise a side-event on strikers' rights in Kazakhstan and we are also co-organising a side-event with particular focus on Ales Bialiatski and the release of political prisoners in Belarus.
Below you will find links to the HDIM webpage, all documents from our side-events and interventions and other relevant links. The building was privately owned by Leyla Yunus and her husband, the historian Arif Yunus. The Norwegian Helsinki Committee has known and cooperated closely with Boris for over ten years. We extend our deepest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.
Recent developments stand in sharp contrast to these words. Despite fear of violent incidents, persons managed to walk through the city and make the parade a celebration of human rights and equality; the very nature of pride parades. The statement comes as a reaction to the recent violent attacks on a peaceful demonstration organized by Ukrainian LGBTI organizations, where several activists were victims of violence. It seems to be a trend of violent intolerance that is unacceptable in countries that are aspiring at rapprochement to Europe, hosting European Championships in Football, Olympic Games or applying for EU membership, says Secretary General Bjørn Engesland.
Lecha Bogatyrov is the man who allegedly fired the fatal shots that killed the Chechen exile Umar Israilov on the streets of Vienna in January Three men were convicted 1 June by the Vienna Landesgericht to long prison sentences for the killing of Israilov, but the current current impunity for Mr. All organizations with project proposals related to human rights, democratization or strengthening of civil society may apply.
While we are open to all good proposals, we encourage projects in Kazakhstan related to the outlying regions of the country. In Kyrgyzstan, we are particularly interested in projects addressing the basic human rights of vulnerable groups as well as legal initiatives. In Tajikistan, strengthening of the media and the rights of children is important. In addition to our regular program, we are glad to announce that additional grants have been allocated for smaller projects in Kazakhstan.
These grants may be up to 9, USD, and are intended to support projects in more outlying regions of the country. The deadline and other requirements are the same. Police authorities did not protect the human rights defenders, and damage was made to the premises of the organization. Now, several international and regional organisations have sent a letter to the Armenian authorities, urging proper investigation of the events and protection of human rights defenders in Armenia.
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee, present in Baku this week, is a member of the coalition. The Forum has been the best so far, and the NHC is proud to be associated with both the conference and with its participants.
Det er nødvendig for å bidra til en mer normalisert og tolerant samfunnsutvikling og til bedre relasjoner mellom landene på Vest-Balkan. Dette viser at oppgjøret med krigsforbrytelser ikke er et kapittel som er lukket med utleveringen av de siste ettersøkte fra Serbia til Haag, sier Helsingforskomiteens Balkanrådgver Ole Benny Lilleås.
Serbia har forpliktet seg til omfattende reformer på viktige områder som diskrimineringsvern, frie medier og oppgjør med fortiden, men har så langt ikke demonstrert evne til å sørge for en reell implementering av disse, sier Ole B. Lilleås, seniorrådgiver i Den norske Helsingforskomité som observerte søndagens valg i Serbia. Even though Ukrainian officials portray the cases as anti-corruption, they clearly form part of a pattern of selective justice and political influence over the judiciary.
It is important that Norway and other European governments and institutions step up pressure to end these practices. Beginning in May , a number of criminal cases were opened against former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. On 11 October a court found her guilty of abuse of power, and sentenced her to seven years in jail. Even though it is wider support for the need for European integration now than in , it is obvious that the candidates struggle to prevent that this ambition alienates voters.
Shein and his supporters had filed a law suit claiming that massive fraud had taken place during the elections. Ekeløve-Slydal, Deputy Secretary General. In the campaign leading up to the elections, President Sargsyan has on several occasions stated the importance of free and fair elections. Årsmøtet ga i årets uttalelse bred støtte til det aktuelle forslaget om å innlemme menneskerettighetene i Grunnloven. It severely restricts religious freedoms, including imposing registration requirements that in effect ban registration of new religious communities other than the Orthodox Church and the Spiritual Board of Moslems.
Wednesday 2 May Litteraturhuset, Wergelandsveien 29, Oslo,. Forslagene er utarbeidet i rammen av vår kampanje "Aksjon Hviterussland" som har som mål å øke norsk og internasjonalt engasjement for den menneskerettslige krisen i Hviterussland.
Norge gjør mye riktig i forholdet til Hviterussland, men det har lenge vært begrenset diplomatisk kontakt mellom landene. Norge støtter EUs sanksjonsregime og gir økende økonomisk støtte til det hviterussiske sivile samfunn. Men vi etterlyser ytterligere tiltak og kreativitet for å legge press på det hviterussiske regimet. In a letter adressed to President Ilham Aliyev the NHC demands that the Azerbaijani authorities launch an immediate, independent and transparent investigation into these brutal attacks.
Read the letter in full below. Nylig deltok Engesland i et møte sammen med andre menneskerettighetsorganisasjoner og ga innspill til utenriksminister Jonas Gahr Støre for strategier for Russland, Hviterussland og Kasakhstan. The letter is part of a joint NGO action, led by Amnesty International and other leading European human rights organizations, to campaign for safeguarding the integrity and the authority of the Court in these negotiations and to ensure that it remains effectively accessible to individuals claiming to be victims of violations of their Convention rights.
The two authoritarian countries are the only cases in which the EBRD has initiated such an approach that allows for closer monitoring of the progress or regress towards set benchmarks on political and economic reform, and more rapid response to the development. The report highlights the climate of fear and pervasive self-censorship in Azerbaijan, with few brave journalists, bloggers and activists remaining. The most recent episode in the harassment campaign involves a one minute film of an intimate nature being posted on the internet on Wednesday March A week earlier Ismayilova said she had received a letter including intimate photographs and a threat, stating "Whore, behave.
Ismayilova has refused to give in to the blackmail attempts. To representanter fra DNH var dessuten til stede i Moskva valghelgen. The questions we aim to answer are: Is the pursued policy efficient? How can we offer more support to freedom-longing Belarusians?
And is the Belarusian people ready for a change? None of these attacks have been seriously investigated or prosecuted, resulting in a climate of impunity for those who wish to use violence to silence critical voices. Despite increasing public protests against prime minister Vladimir Putin, all indications suggest that he will declare victory, probably after the first ballot. This will happen in an environment where free and fair elections are not possible.
Due to recent concerns on threats to democratic rule in Hungary, expressed both by Hungarian and international observers, the NHC wanted to get a better understanding of current legal and political developments in the country. This report presents the findings from the mission, and contains the Norwegian Helsinki Committee's recommendations to the Government of Hungary, the European Union and to the Norwegian Government. Having been amnestied after serving 2,5 years in prison following a highly politicized trial in , Zhovtis can now rejoin his family, friends and colleagues in Almaty.
He will off course win the upcoming elections, he is in reality the only candidate, but he will be replaced within two years. The Russian political elites will ensure this, together with the protesters in the streets. Seremonien er om knappe tre uker.
På denne måten kan vi bidra til at også de mest utsatte barna i land med svake rettssystemer og svakt rettsvern kan få bedre beskyttelse, sier seniorrådgiver Ole Benny Lilleås...