The European Network of Election Monitoring Organizations (ENEMO) calls on the international organizations and the countries that host ENEMO members to address the Azerbaijani government with a concern over the state of human rights in Azerbaijan and demands the immediate release of Mr. Mammadli and Mr. Suleymanli and dropping all charges against them.
ENEMO and its members have been following the developments regarding one of the founders of the network from the very beginning of its project for domestic monitoring of the Presidential elections in Azerbaijan and the implementation of it till the end of the court case.
The monitoring of the Presidential elections was done in accordance with the Declaration of Global Principles for Non-Partisan Election Observation and Monitoring by Citizen Organizations, and the results of this effort were publicly disclosed by the EMDSC.
Only several weeks after the monitoring results were disclosed an investigation was launched by the Prosecutor General’s Office against EMDSC which resulted with computers and documents being seized and restriction of the fundamental democratic right to free movement.
Additionally, Anar Mammadli, Head of EMDSC, and Bashir Suleymanli, Executive director of EMDSC, were summoned to the Prosecutors’ General Office for interrogation. During this process, opportunity to provide own lawyer was not given to Anar Mammadli and he was put on a three months pre-trial detention facing criminal charges for tax evasion, illegal entrepreneurship and abuse of authority.
The trial has started in the middle of April 2014 and has lasted until 26th of May 2014, when the verdict was reached and Anar Mammadli was sentenced to 5.5 years of imprisonment and Bashir Suleymanli to 3.5 years.
ENEMO hereby raises its concerns about the way this case has been treated by the Azerbaijani authorities and has strong indications to believe that this represents a politically motivated trial resulting with groundless sentences against the convicted.
ENEMO expresses its support to the employees of the Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Centre (EMDSC) from Azerbaijan and fully seconds the activities that are part of the organizations’ mission to work on the development of the democratic processes in their native country.
Organizations-members of ENEMO are united on the principles of respect for the international standards in the field of freedom of associations, and at the same time they also contribute to the development of democracy and human rights principles in their countries.