Wednesday, November 19, 2014

@ALDEParty Congress resolutions 2014 - Azerbaijan – freedom under pressure

Whilst most attention is on the various moves, covert and overt of Vladimir Putin's Russia, in the furthest reaches of Europe, something unpleasant stirs as the dormant contest between Armenia and Azerbaijan heats up again. Whilst Armenia's democracy might not be perfect, opposition to the Azeri Government is becoming more and more difficult as it cracks down on dissent. Democraten '66 offer the following resolution...

The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party convening in Lisbon, Portugal on 20-22 November 2014:

Referring to
  • the worrying reports on the deteriorating political and security situation in Azerbaijan as documented by the European Stability Initiative(ESI)[1]; 

Notes that
  • the Azeri government, led by President Ilham Aliyev, has markedly stepped up the political repression of its own citizens since taking over the chairmanship of the Council of Europe (CoE) on 14 May 2014;
  • an increasing number of journalists and human rights activists have been jailed without fair trial by the Azeri authorities in recent months;

Believes that
  • the EU should take a firm stance with regard to Azerbaijan’s brutal crackdown on civil society;
  • membership of the CoE comes with duties with regard to respect for human rights, political and economic freedoms and the rule of law;
  • the European Union should review its current cooperation framework with Azerbaijan and ensure that joint activities in the societal, political and democracy and human rights sphere are conducted solely with organisations and individuals that are completely independent from the Azerbaijani government and associated entities;

Calls on
  • the European Union to come up with a unified and strong response to the ongoing assault on civil liberties in Azerbaijan, including: strong political and economic sanctions, directly targeting the Azeri political and business elites; enhanced cooperation in supporting Azerbaijan’s civil society.

[1] ESI-report ‘The Jails of Azerbaijan’– August 2014:

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