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Azerbaijan's Democratic "Free fall"

13 September 2015

The last few weeks have stifled the last glimmers of hopes for democracy in the country. Azerbaijani lawyers and journalist, Khadija Ismayilova and Leyla & Arif Yunus, were sentenced to 7-8.5 years.

Since the arrest of the Yunus' in August 2014, their daughter Dinara has been campaigning alongside several human rights organisations for a stronger international response to the plight of political prisoners in Azerbaijan.

OSCE announced that it would not be observing elections in Azerbaijan, as the conditions it was provided made it impossible to carry out its work.

On 10 September, the EP passed a resolution which, among other points requests a review of the EU's Azerbaijan funding (except for programmes for human rights, civil society & people-to-people cooperation). It also calls on the EU & its member states to "refrain from election observation" for the 1 November parliamentary elections.

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