Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum

Political prisoners in Azerbaijan to receive Andrei Sakharov Freedom Award

Political Prisoners in Azerbaijan, among them EaP CSF members Anar Mammadli and Rasul Jafarov, are being awarded the Andrei Sakharov Freedom Award by the Norwegian-Helsinki Committee (NHC) in honour of their human rights action in the country, announced the organisation.

The award is addressed to all political prisoners in Azerbaijan, a number which is currently estimated at 98 individuals and comprises human rights defenders, journalists and bloggers. These individuals have been imprisoned on fabricated charges connected to their political activities as part of a recently accelerated government campaign to silence civil society.

The Norwegian-Helsinki Committee has emphasised the work of Leyla Yunus and EaP CSF members Anar Mammadli, Rasul Jafarov and Intigam Aliyev for their prominent human rights work in the country, but nonetheless reach out their praise to all political prisoners in the country

“They exhibit great courage and make huge efforts in promoting dignity, democratic values and human rights in their home country. Azerbaijan is a European country that is developing towards dictatorship,” says Secretary General of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC), Bjørn Engesland

The Andrei Sakharov Freedom Award, established in 1980 by the Norwegian-Helsinki Committee in cooperation with Mr. Sakharov himself, will be formally awarded in Oslo on 13 November 2014 and is designed to assist individuals who have been imprisoned for their opinions, beliefs or conscience.

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