Repression of civil society
Human rights defenders and other critical voices, such as journalists, lawyers and activists, play a vital role in the promotion and protection of human rights. But amid a sustained crackdown on civil liberties in Russia and Azerbaijan, the voices of those who dare to speak out are being suppressed and silenced. Restrictive legislation has made it increasingly difficult for NGOs and media outlets to operate. Human rights defenders, journalists, and activists are routinely subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention, intimidation, and harassment.
EHRAC seeks to support human rights defenders and other critical voices and respond to the emerging threats that they face. Our joint litigation with partners is aimed at both securing redress for those who have been unjustly treated and at challenging the repressive laws that obstruct their work.
Conviction of Azerbaijani human rights defender quashed
In April 2020, Azerbaijan’s Supreme Court quashed the conviction of the prominent human rights defender Rasul Jafarov, who was wrongfully imprisoned in 2014. EHRAC represented Rasul, before the European Court of Human Rights, which ruled in March 2016 that his arrest and detention was aimed at punishing him for his human rights work. He was released by presidential pardon on the same day.