U.S. Helsinki Commission to hold briefing on Azerbaijan
(Washington, DC) The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) today announced the following briefing:
Troubled Partner: Growing Authoritarianism in Azerbaijan
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Capitol Visitor Center, Senate Room 201-00
The United States and Azerbaijan have many shared interests and cooperate on many issues, including energy and regional security. There is growing concern, however, about the current political situation in Azerbaijan. Trends include reported intimidation, arrests, and use of force against journalists and human rights activists; tough new NGO registration requirements; legal restrictions on the Internet, including criminalizing online “libel” and “abuse”; restrictions on freedom of assembly, forceful dispersion of unsanctioned protests, detention of demonstrators; and unfair administration of justice, including arbitrary arrest and detention, politically motivated imprisonment, lack of due process, lengthy pre-trial detention, and executive interference in the judiciary.
Azerbaijan will hold a presidential election in October of this year. This briefing is an opportunity to discuss current events in Azerbaijan and the prospects for a free and fair election.
The following witnesses are scheduled to testify:
Mr. Thomas Melia, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, U.S. Department of State
A representative of the Government of Azerbaijan
Mr. Erkin Gadirli, Chairman of the Assembly, Republican Alternative (ReAl)
Dr. Miriam Lanskoy, Director for Russia and Eurasia at the National Endowment for Democracy
*Additional witnesses may be added.
This event is open to the public. Room SVC 201-00 is located on the Senate side of the Capitol Visitor Center. You may enter on the north side, below the East Plaza of the Capitol between Constitution and Independence Avenues (across the street from the Supreme Court). The closest metro stop is Capitol South (orange or blue line).
Please allow adequate time to clear through the security check. On the lower level, visitors will need to show a picture ID at the Senate appointment desk before proceeding to the Senate rooms.
Map of the Capitol:
Map of the Visitor Center:
The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the U.S. Helsinki Commission, is an independent agency of the Federal Government charged with monitoring compliance with the Helsinki Accords and advancing comprehensive security through promotion of human rights, democracy, and economic, environmental and military cooperation in 57 countries. The Commission consists of nine members from the U.S. Senate, nine from the House of Representatives, and one member each from the Departments of State, Defense, and Commerce.