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Anar Mammadli otrzymał Nagrodę Rady Europy im. Vaclava Havla EN

Anar Mammadli was the President of the Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Center (EMDS). The organisation has monitored the last thirteen elections in Azerbaijan. Anar Mammadli had also conducted observations of elections in Turkey, Afghanistan, Germany, Norway, Ukraine, Georgia or Albania and other countries. Anar Mammadli has been the coordinator of the task force called the Civil Society Forum of the Eastern Partnership Program, devoted to elections.

In October 2013, immediately after the Azerbaijani presidential elections, EMDS published a report indicating drastic irregularities which allegedly had taken place during the elections. After the publication of the report, the regime of President Ilham Aliyev started repressions against Anar Mammadli, who was arrested in a short period of time and then, in May 2014, sentenced to 5.5 years in prison for alleged embezzlement, tax evasion and abuse of power. His court case was undoubtedly politically motivated and was extensively criticised by international human rights organisations.

“Today’s prize is a tribute to civil society and human rights activists in Azerbaijan”, says Dominika Bychawska-Siniarska, a lawyer of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights (HFPC).

In the recent months four prominent human rights activits, Leyla and Arif Yunus, Rasul Jafarov and Intigam Aliyev, were arrested on similar charges as those presented earlier to Anar Mammadli. Many activists had to leave the country or are hiding in the face of the threat of arrest. Over 40 organisations and leaders had their bank accounts frozen and were banned from leaving the country.

“These actions are aimed against the civil society and their objective is to disassemble it immediately before the autumn local government elections in Azerbaijan. Moreover, in 2015, the European Olympic Games are to be held in Azerbaijan, and they will undoubtedly constitute an opportunity for the regime to promote the country,” adds Dominika Bychawska-Siniarska.

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