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Challenges for Azerbaijani civil society since 2013

Thursday 12 October 2017, 11.30AM

Speaker: Mehriban Rahimli, CAHR visiting fellow

Learning from Human Rights Defenders Lecture Series

In recent years, declining oil prices and the devaluation of the national currency have tightened the economic situation in Azerbaijan. Politically this has been combined with the strengthening of Russia's hegemony in the region, with the Euromaidan events in Ukraine, and the growing restrictions on public freedoms in Turkey. As a result, starting from late 2013, pressure against civil society organisations (CSOs) in Azerbaijan has become more severe. During this period, deeply regressive amendments were made in the legislation regulating activities of CSOs, the work of NGOs was reduced to minimum, prominent civil society leaders were subject to repression and arrests, and foreign donor organisations were forced to leave the country.

In her talk Mehriban Rahimli will address possible solutions to this situation: the development of an effective international human rights advocacy strategy on Azerbaijan; the European Court of Human Rights as an effective tool to challenge a biased legal system; and what can be done with the help of continuous emergency and development assistance to CSOs in Azerbaijan.

Mehriban Rahimli is a Baku-based consultant on Azerbaijan and Georgia for the Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation, which is a project for the German Marshall Fund. She is currently undertaking a 6-month Protective Fellowship for Human Rights Defenders at Risk at the Centre for Applied Human Rights, University of York.

Location: Room AEW/104, Alcuin East Wing, Alcuin College

Admission: is free of charge and open to all. No booking required.