EU Must Call on Azerbaijani President to End Human Rights Crackdown

Together with 36 other human rights NGOs, Civil Rights Defenders has sent an open letter to EU member states heads ahead of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s visit to Brussels to participate in the 5th Eastern Partnership Summit on 24 November.

In the letter, which has been sent to Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven among others, we urge the EU member state heads to use the summit to call on president Aliyev to end the human rights crackdown and commit to concrete and sustainable human rights reforms in Azerbaijan.

The open letter to the Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven can be downloaded here.

During their meeting with President Aliyev, at the Eastern Partnership Summit, we urge the heads of the EU member states to insist on:

  • The Immediate and unconditional release of Ilgar Mammadov and the prompt and unconditional release of all other wrongfully imprisoned human rights defenders and civil society and political activists who were prosecuted in retaliation for their legitimate activities.
  • Absolute respect for free speech and media freedoms, including the prompt and unconditional release of all journalists and social media activists wrongfully put in detention; the dropping of all charges against Mehman Aliyev, and an end to the investigation against Turan.
  • An immediate end to the use of travel bans to arbitrarily restrict freedom of movement and professional activity, including in respect of investigative journalist Khadija Ismaiylova, human rights lawyer Intigam Aliyev, and others.
  • Reform of laws and regulations on nongovernmental organisations and their access to foreign funding, in accordance with the Venice Commission recommendations.