The Institute for Reporters Freedom and Safety has joined the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) NGO Coalition in Azerbaijan. The EITI is a global standard to promote the open and accountable management of oil gas and mineral resources.
“We are thrilled to join the EITI”, IRFS CEO Emin Huseynov said. “Our organisation is committed to promoting accountable journalism and freedom of expression. Without free and professional media, one cannot speak about transparency”, he noted.
Last month, IRFS joined 21 international NGOs in calling for the EITI to suspend Azerbaijan from the transparency group for failing to comply with the EITI standard.
In each implementing country, a multi-stakeholder group (MSG) comprised of representatives from government, companies and civil society is established to oversee EITI implementation. IRFS chairman, Mehman Huseynov is unable to participate neither in the NGO coalition nor the MSG meetings.
Last Friday, a court in Baku convicted IRFS chairman Mehman Huseynov to two years in prison on defamation charges. The charges stem from Mehman Huseynov’s legitimate claims that he was tortured whilst in police custody on the night of 9 January 2017.