In 100 days the European Olympics will be taking place in Baku. As stadiums are completed and flags unfurled many of the people we know in Azerbaijan are in prison.
The European Games are being used to goldwash the BP-Aliyev regime. So desperate are they to host the event that, despite serious economic problems, they’re paying the athletes to attend – the first time a host country has ever paid competitors.
In the build up to the games activists, journalists and lawyers are being imprisoned to keep them silent. Many are being held on charges that could see them behind bars for over a decade. Last December loads of people sent Azerbaijan’s prisoners messages of support, today we’re asking you to take action to demand UK MPs break their silence.
Azerbaijani activists describe the isolation they feel when they see their country’s autocrat Ilham Aliyev shaking politicians’ hands and being welcomed by heads of state. Investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova told us before her arrest that it is British politicians who are ‘the most silent’ about human rights abuses in Azerbaijan.
She is clear that most British MPs are only interested in supporting BP and the Aliyev family – not in defending Azerbaijan’s political prisoners.
That’s why we’re asking UK MPs to sign EDM 718, calling on the government of Azerbaijan to release Khadija Ismayilova and other political prisoners in the country, and uphold international human rights standards.
The more MPs that sign the stronger a message it sends to both the authoritarian Azerbaijan government and to UK MPs that they need to break their links to the Aliyev regime and their silence on the country’s human rights abuses.
Make sure your MP signs the EDM – fill in your details below and an automatic email will be generated asking them to sign.
Then follow up a few days later with another email or phone call to their constituency office to make sure they sign.
Demand that UK MPs take a stand on human rights in Azerbaijan – sign below.