Azerbaijan Downgraded to ‘Inactive Country’ in Open Government Partnership

 During a scheduled meeting of the Steering Committee of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) in Cape Town, South Africa, the issue of Azerbaijan’s membership in the OGP was considered. According to the official OGP website, the 22-member Steering Committee voted to lower Azerbaijan’s status from a full member to an inactive country, with 16 votes for, 3 against and 3 abstentions. According to the press release, the primary factor in this decision is the restrictive operating environment for civil society institutions in Azerbaijan.“Closure of the civic...

Sport for Rights letter to the EBRD in advance of its Board of Directors' meeting on the 22 July

Dear President Chakrabarti,   We are writing in advance of the EBRD's Board of Directors' meeting on the 22 July where you will be deciding whether to arrange up to US$500,000,000 to Russia's Lukoil for the Shah Deniz II offshore gas project in Azerbaijan.   We urge you to reject the loan for failing to meeting the basic requirements of the Agreement Establishing the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Bank’s own Environmental and Social Policy. Under the EBRD Agreement, the parties must be committed to human rights,...

U.S. State Department report details widespread human rights violations in Azerbaijan

      According to the document, circulation rates of opposition and independent newspapers remained low, not surpassing 5,000 in most cases. Opposition newspapers were available outside Baku only in limited numbers due to the refusal of a number of distributors to carry them. It was also noted that during the past year 59 court cases were initiated against journalists or media outlets, with plaintiffs demanding $3.1 million in compensation. The report emphasized that the majority of independent and opposition newspapers remained in a precarious financial situation and...
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