People in Need  Human Rights  Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan is a country in the South Caucasus that has been ruled for decades by the Aliyev family clan, which is responsible for the harsh repression in the country as well as a firmly established dictatorship based on oil. Azerbaijan is infamous for manipulating elections on various levels, suppressing freedom of speech, eliminating undesirable non-governmental organizations, persecuting independent journalists and holding members of the political opposition in prison.

In 2014, the Azerbaijani authorities dramatically increased pressure on non-governmental organizations and critics of the regime.  The regime carried out attacks on human rights defenders, opposition politicians, independent journalists and dissidents. Many analysts consider this to be the biggest crackdown on the government’s critics since Azerbaijan became independent.  Among those who have been detained are significant human rights defenders Leyla and Arif Yunus, Rasul Jafarov or Homo Homini laureate Intigam Aliyev, who were sentenced to many years in prison based on trumped up charges. Aliyev's regime has released part of them in spring 2016. There are still around 80 political prisoners in local jails and prisons in the country.

People in Need (PIN) has been working in Azerbaijan since 2013, primarily in support of human rights defenders, civil society groups and the strengthening of respect for fundamental freedoms.  Independent lawyers and non-governmental human rights organizations have been supported financially and through training courses, while political prisoners and their families have been provided with moral, material and financial support. In addition, PIN has been calling attention to the violation of fundamental freedoms in Azerbaijan on a Czech and international level.  In collaboration with our partners, we have been trying to influence Czech and European politicians, policy makers and high level officials to put a greater emphasis on the respect for human rights within the dialogue with Azerbaijani authorities.

What can you do to help?

-          Screen a film to your friends

You can borrow for free the documentary film Amazing Azerbaijan! ,which was part of the One World Film Festival in 2013, and screen it to our friends and acquaintances anywhere you want.  There are additional materials that can be downloaded for free as well and organize a debate.  Get Your Audience!

http://www.jedensvet.cz/pit/filmy-materialy/26

-         Become a member of PIN’s Club of Friends

A quarter of all donations to the Club of Friends program goes directly to human rights defenders in the countries where PIN works.  In Azerbaijan, the Club of Friends supports political prisoners and their families, as well as other human rights activists who are at risk.

http://www.clovekvtisni.cz/cs/chci-pomoci/klub-pratel

 

If you are interested in reading more about Azerbaijan, we have more materials available, such as ‘Questions and Answers for the movie Amazing Azerbaijan’, as well as the ‘How Can I Help’ leaflet.

http://www.jedensvet.cz/2010/download/pdf/audienceFilmsNewPdfsQuestions_23.pdf

http://www.jedensvet.cz/2010/download/pdf/audienceFilmsNewPdfsHelp_26.pdf


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The One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival, organized by People in Need, is currently the largest documentary festival on human rights in the world.

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