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Concerns over the situation of human rights defenders in Azerbaijan

Statement
Strasbourg 07/08/2014
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Human rights Defenders in Azerbaijan - Emin Huseynov & Rasul Jafarov

Human rights Defenders in Azerbaijan - Emin Huseynov & Rasul Jafarov

The arrest of Rasul Jafarov and the travel ban imposed on Emin Huseynov provide yet another disturbing illustration of how human rights defenders in Azerbaijan are systematically threatened with an instrumental use of criminal suits. These cases happen shortly after the arrest of Leyla Yunus and her husband, which followed a long list of arrests of activists who are now muzzled behind bars.  By stifling dissent, Azerbaijan is failing to comply with its international obligations which require safeguarding freedom of expression, assembly and association. It is necessary that Azerbaijan reverse the situation. A first step would be to free all those detained because of the views they expressed. I will continue to raise these concerns with the authorities as part of the follow up to my report and observations on the human rights situation in the country.