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Free Anar Mammadli immediately and drop all charges against him

This petition had 309 supporters

The undersigned protest strongly against the three months detention order imposed on Anar Mammadli, the head of the Election Monitoring and Democratic Studies Centre (EMDS) and his subsequent imprisonment on December 16 2013. The investigation which is being conducted against Anar Mammadli does not warrant his detention as he has till now answered every summons to appear as a witness in the case and the fact that he has had his passport taken away means that he is unable to leave Azerbaijan.
Anar Mammadli is a highly respected civil rights activist and the reports produced by EMDS are considered to be highly credible both in Azerbaijan and abroad. We consider that the criminal investigation being conducted against him which derives from grants with EMDS received from abroad to conduct its election monitoring activities is another example of victimization of civil rights activists by the Azerbaijan authorities.
We urge the authorities to free Anar Mammadli immediately and to drop all charges against him. The authorities must understand that every additional political prisoner in Azerbaijan further undermines the country’s image abroad and its position in the Council of Europe  and the in the Organisation of Security and Cooperation in Europe as well as its relations with the European Union.
Each additional political prisoner also undermines Azerbaijan’s political and moral right to chair the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe which obligation falls due in may 2014. We urge the Council of Europe to postpone Azerbaijan’s chairmanship of the Committee until such time as its human rights record is in line with its obligations to the Council of Europe.   

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