The Steering Committee of the Civil Society Forum welcomes the release of several political prisoners, including our colleague Anar Mammadli, in Azerbaijan on the occasion of the Novruz holiday. This gesture marks a first step towards the establishment of a relationship of trust between the government and civil society at large in Azerbaijan.
This relationship is essential if Azerbaijan’s stability is to be assured and mutually beneficial relations between Azerbaijan and the EU are to be developed. This can only happen with the full release and rehabilitation of all those currently imprisoned or under restriction of movement in Azerbaijan on political grounds in line with the country’s international commitments.
In addition we appeal for the lifting of restrictions on the activities of civil society organisations, thus enabling them to fully contribute to Azerbaijan’s future wellbeing.