Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum

Free Anar Mammadli!

Free Anar Mammadli!

By Krzysztof Bobinski

The Azerbaijan authorities are continuing to hold Anar Mammadli, the head of the Election Monitoring and Democratic Studies Centre (EMDS) who was arrested on December 16 2013 as part of an investigation into alleged tax evasion by the organization. Anar Mammadli, a former member of the Civil Society Forum steering committee, is a widely respected election observer and civil rights activist. He is being held under a three month detention order. The case arises from grants which EMDS received from abroad to conduct its monitoring activities including most recently the presidential election in Azerbaijan on October 9 2013. According to the Azerbaijani Prosecutor General’s Office the criminal case arises from ‘a great profit and tax evasion’ allegedly made by EMDS and the International Cooperation of the Volunteers Public Union (ICV), its partner organization. Bashir Suleymanli from EMDS and Elnur Mammadov, the head of ICV are also being investigated on the same charges but have not been detained.


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