International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR) released its December report on Azerbaijan focusing on the abuse of the criminal justice system against the civil society in Azerbaijan.
The 50-page document also details 6 cases of prominent civil society figures including Leyla and Arif Yunus, Rasul Jafarov, Anar Mammadli, Emin Huseynov, Khadija Ismayil and Intigam Aliyev.
All report findings are based on field and trial monitoring missions carried out by the organization, interviews and analyses of case documents.
“The report demonstrates how Azerbaijan’s repressive NGO legislation and the country’s pliant judicial system have been used by the authorities in an attempt to punish and silence these well-known advocates of human rights and rule of law and to criminalize their legitimate activities. It highlights the unjust, unfair and politically motivated nature of the charges brought against the civil society leaders, including tax evasion, illegal entrepreneurship, and fraud, and details a nrage of serious violations of international human rights standards that have characterized the case against them.”
The report lists major concerns ranging from restrictive legislation, provisions, criminal charges, abuse of pretrial detention and so on.
The report’s main conclusion suggests change of tactics in dealing with the authorities in Azerbaijan given the current situation. “In order to help ensure the release of imprisoned human rights defenders and journalists and restore their rights, the country’s international partners must back up dialogue with the threat of use of sanctions.”