PROPOSAL MADE TO ADOPT INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION REGARDING HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS

September 24th, 2009
On 17-18 September, in Kiyev City, a roundtable was held organized by the Office of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights in cooperation with Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe on the theme “Human Rights Activism”.

Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Thomas Hammerberg, human rights defenders from Russia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine and Armenia, and representatives of international human rights defense organizations participated in the event.
Human rights defenders from Azerbaijan – Human Rights Center Chairperson Eldar Zeynalov, Peace and Democracy Institute Chairperson Leyla Yunus, and South Caucasus Network Coordinator on Azerbaijan, Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety Chairman Emin Huseynov participated in the roundtable where discussions about increased danger against human rights defenders in the abovementioned countries were conducted. According to the reports, the situation in Russia is worse than other countries. Human Rights Defenders and media representatives face more danger of being murdered in Russia.  
Along with other countries in the region, situation in Azerbaijan – the danger that human rights defenders face in the country, court trials against them, physical and moral pressure, artificial problems during the registration of NGOs and restrictions imposed on the legislation regarding NGOs – was also discussed.
During the event, to increase the effectiveness of human rights defenders’ activity, the proposal to adopt international convention in connection with human rights defense was supported anonymously.