On August 22, in front of the Tbilisi office of the Council of Europe, Human Rights House Tbilisi and its member organizations organized demonstration in support of human rights defenders arrested in Azerbaijan. Representatives of the Public Advocacy and Georgian Trade Unions Confederation also participated in the demonstration.
According to participants, unprecedented persecution measures have been taken against human rights defenders in Azerbaijan for the past few weeks. Four human rights defenders, actively criticizing the government of Azerbaijan, were arrested for almost equal charges (tax violation, illegal entrepreneurship, abuse of power).
Human Rights House Tbilisi and its member organizations are concerned with the persecution against and arrest of famous human rights defenders Rasul Jafarov, Intiqam Aliyev, Leyla Yunus and Arif Yunus.
“Since May 2014 Azerbaijan chairs Committee of Ministers at the Council of Europe. Despite that, Azerbaijan government does not refrain from repressions against civil society leaders and violates obligations taken by European Convention on Human Rights and other international documents,” special statement of the HRHT reads.
Demonstration participants sent special address to the CoE mission in Georgia; they addressed to the CoE and Committee of Ministers to take immediate measures to adequately response to ongoing events in Azerbaijan.