On 18 June, the International Republican Institute (IRI), National Democratic Institute (NDI), National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX) and Open Society Institute (OSI) addressed an appeal to Azeri Ambassador to the USA, Yashar Aliyev. In the letter, the organizations express their “deep concern” over the package of amendments to changes Azerbaijan’s laws on Mass Media, NGOs, Donors, State Fees and the Administrative Code. In the letter it is written that the amendments could “undermine a decade of progress in the development of civil society.”
“The Draft Law contradicts fundamental democratic principles and government policy affecting civil society, restricts NGO independence, threatens to prohibit core social and economic activities, endangers the sustainability of NGOs, and unjustly discriminates against foreign NGOs,” it is written in the letter.
“The Draft Law contains serious shortcomings that contradict fundamental democratic principles of human rights and equality. Specifically, many of the provisions of the Draft Law contradict the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR),1 the European Convention on Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR),2 and the Laws of Azerbaijan.”