Published: 14 Jul 2016 | By Kirill Koroteev
Moscow – Baku – Tashkent?
A comparative view on civil society repression
The recent releases of election analyst Anar Mammadli and democracy campaigner Rasul Jafarov on 17 March 2016 (the day Rasul won his case in Strasbourg) – and on 28 March 2016, lawyer Intigam Aliyev in Azerbaijan – should not be regarded as a sign of an imminent thaw: although these three human rights defenders are now together with their families, friends and colleagues, their convictions are not erased, and other political prisoners remain behind bars. All four were arbitrarily detained, denied a fair trial and convicted on trumped-up charges. Their sentences ranged from over five to over eight years in prison. The story of activists Leyla and Arif Yunus, whose sentences were suspended on appeal, is almost the same, aggravated by the denial of adequate medical assistance in detention.
Russia, in turn, suppresses NGOs with the so-called ‘Foreign Agents Law’, which has attracted much attention and resulted in many hefty fines and NGO closures.
You can read Kirill Koroteev’s article in full in the Summer 2016 Bulletin.