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Letter of Support - EMDS - 18.12.2013

Letter of Support - EMDS - 18.12.2013

The European Network of Election Monitoring Organizations (ENEMO) expresses its
support to the chairman Mr. Anar Mammadli and employees of the Election Monitoring
and Democracy Studies Centre (EMDSC) from Azerbaijan and fully seconds the
activities that are part of the organizations’ mission to work on the development of
the democratic processes in their domicile country.


ENEMO and its members have been following the developments regarding one of the founders
of the network ever since the organization has started its project for domestic monitoring of the
Presidential elections in Azerbaijan and the implementation of it.

It is to regret that the ENEMO member organization has been placed under a constant pressure
during the conduct of its monitoring efforts that are in compliance with the Internationally
recognized standards for domestic monitoring of elections embedded within the Declaration of
Global Principles for Non-Partisan Election Observation and Monitoring by Citizen
Organizations1. The very same Declaration is endorsed by several intergovernmental
organizations such as United Nations Secretariat, OSCE/ ODIHR, European Parliament, as well
as by 160 nonpartisan election monitoring organizations from more than 75 countries on five
continents including National Democratic Institute, EMDSC, and ENEMO.

Almost two months ago an investigation was launched by the Prosecutor General’s Office
against EMDSC which resulted with computers and documents being seized and restriction of
the fundamental democratic rights to freedom of movement.

The latest outcome of the investigation against the ENEMO member is summoning to the
Prosecutors’ General Office of Mr. Mammadli and two employees of the organization for interrogation. Mr. Mammadli was not given opportunity to provide his own lawyer and was put
on a three months pre-trial detention facing criminal charges for tax evasion, illegal
entrepreneurship and abuse of authority.

ENEMO hereby condemns these actions and would like to appeal to the Azerbaijani authorities
to respect the international human rights documents signed and ratified by Azerbaijan
regarding the EMDSC case.

To be more specific, Article 11 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights2 and Article 14 of
the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)3 provide that “Everyone
charged with a criminal offence shall have the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty
according to law.” Moreover, the Article 9 of the ICCPR stipulates that “It shall not be the
general rule that persons awaiting trial shall be detained in custody, but release may be subject
to guarantees to appear for trial, […] and, should occasion arise, for execution of the judgement.”

Additionally, Article 14 of the ICCPR prescribes that in the determination of any
criminal charge against someone, he/she is entitled to certain minimum guarantees such as the
right to communicate with counsel of his/her own choosing, and to defend himself/ herself in
person or through legal assistance of his/ her own choosing.

Organizations-members of ENEMO are united on the principles of respect for the international
standards in the field of freedom of associations, and at the same time they also contribute to
the development of democracy and human rights principles in their countries.

ENEMO, in its turn, calls on the international organizations and the countries that host ENEMO
members to address the Azerbaijani government with a concern over the state of human rights
in Azerbaijan and demand to immediately stop the intense pressure on the public activists.
Having on mind the experience and professionalism within the EMDSC personnel and members,
it is with no doubt to believe that EMDSC will do its best to meet the mission goals regardless
the pressure and intimidations. 

 

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