IN THE SPOTLIGHT
EaP CSF member Anar Mammadli awarded Václav Havel Human Rights Prize 2014
EaP CSF Member and human rights defender from Azerbaijan, Anar Mammadli, has been awarded the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize 2014 in honour of his extensive civil society action and work in the defence of human rights.
The prize, issued by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, has been presented to Mr. Mammadli’s father, Asaf Mammadov, and includes €60,000 in reward.
Anar Mammadli has played an important role in defending human rights in Azerbaijan. He has been an active member of the EaP CSF as the former coordinator of Working Group 1 on Democracy, Human Rights, Good Governance and Stability. In addition, he is founder and former chair of the Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Centre (EMDS), which is a highly influential institution in Azerbaijan dedicated to election monitoring.
As a result of his political activities, Mr. Mammadli has been in prison since December 2013 following his conviction on fabricated charges by the Azerbaijani government. Regarded as a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International, Mr. Mammadli is facing a sentence of 5 and a half years in prison.
“Mr. Mammadli’s commitment lies in the area of promoting democratic institutions and civil and political rights. Anar Mammadli is our long-standing partner, who shared with our assembly his valuable expertise on the situation in his country” said PACE President Anne Brasseur upon presenting the trophy.
The EaP CSF Forum is campaigning for the immediate and unconditional release of Anar Mammadli along with other political prisoners in Azerbaijan, including human rights defenders Rasul Jafarov, Leila Yunus and Arif Yunus. Ms. Yunus has also been nominated for the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought 2014. These human rights defenders have been victims of a targeted, and recently intensified, campaign against civil society in Azerbaijan.