IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Members of European Parliament address a letter to Mr. Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan on recent arrest of Anar Mammadli
Members of the European Parliament Joachim Zeller, Member of the Delegation to the Euronest (EPP), Member of the Election Observation Mission to Azerbaijan, Ulrike Lunacek, Member of the Delegation to the EU-Armenia, EU- Azerbaijan and EU-Georgia Parliamentary Cooperation Committees (Greens/EFA), Werner Schulz, Member of the Delegation to the Euronest (Greens/EFA), Filip Kaczmarek, Member of the Delegation to the Euronest (EPP), Member of the Election Observation Mission to Azerbaijan have addressed the letter to Mr. Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan on the arrestation of Anar Mammadli, chairman of the Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Centre, Baku (EMDS) and former Steering Committee member of the EaP Civil Society Forum.
‘With great concern we have learnt that on December 16th Anar Mammadli, chairman of the Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Centre, Baku (EMDS) and board member of the network European Platform for Democratic Elections (EPDE) has been arrested and given a three months pre-trial detention at the Nasimin District Court in Baku’, the letter says.
‘The EMDS is one of the most professional and best reputed election observation organisations in the Eastern partnership region’, it continues.
The letter states that the work of EMDS is highly appreciated by ODIHR, the Council of Europe and the European Parliament. It also indicates that independent citizen’s election observation is an indispensible right of voters to exert control over electoral processes and stresses that a sentence of Anar Mammadli would considerably throw back the Republic of Azerbaijan in their efforts for improving election processes in the country.
The Members of the European Parliament urgently recommend an immediate release from pre-trial detention and invite to further support and develop citizen’s activities in the field of electoral processes. They also recommend to grant registration to EMDS and to do anything possible to support citizens in their activities for free and fair elections in the country.