Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Azerbaijan: Government Closes Two International NGOs

Posted by Info on 20/04/2011

The Azerbaijani government has quietly stopped the operations of two international non-governmental organizations, claiming that it is merely following the terms of its NGO registration requirements.

The Baku offices of the Washington, DC-based National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the Oslo-based Human Rights House Network (HRHN).

Under 2009 amendments to Azerbaijan’s law on NGOs, a bilateral agreement between an NGO’s country of origin and the Azerbaijani government about the NGO’s operations in Azerbaijan is required for the organization’s registration.

Some local analysts have cited both the NDI and Human Rights House Network cases as further proof of the Azerbaijani government’s increasing intolerance for groups that might criticize or disagree with its policies – an intolerance fueled by the ongoing political turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa. The closures took place just over a month after the start of unauthorized street rallies by youth activists and opposition parties that have been met with the arrests of dozens of rally participants and suspected organizers.

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