10am-12pm Thursday 24 October Committee Room 6, House of Commons

A man attends an opposition rally in Baku

The 9 October Azerbaijani presidential election returned Aliyev to power for a third, controversial term. The election was condemned by the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) which found ‘serious problems’ with the electoral process. Throughout 2013, the Azerbaijani government conducted “a deliberate, abusive strategy to limit dissent” (Human Right Watch). This included extreme restrictions of freedom of expression, assembly, and association, and a significant increase in the number of political prisoners to 142 in the pre-election period.
In the days following this flawed election, the European Commission announced its energy projects of common interest. These included a series of huge gas pipelines: the Trans-Caspian pipeline, running under the Caspian sea from Turkmenistan to Azerbaijan, the South Caucasus Pipeline extension, the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) and the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP). This gas infrastructure together forms the Euro-Caspian Pipeline complex, which will lock Europe into dependency on undemocratic regimes like Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan for its gas supply. The gas deals also work to provide Aliyev with the financing and political support needed to entrench his undemocratic rule.
What now for the corrupt Aliyev regime and the people trying to oppose it? This event will outline violations of fundamental human rights in Azerbaijan and examine what Europe’s gas deals with Azerbaijan mean for the country.

Speakers
Host Helen Goodman MP

Murad Gassanly – Murad is the official UK representative of the Chairman of Azerbaijani National Council of Democratic Forces (NCDF) and is senior advisor to NCDF single candidate Jamil Hasanli.

Rebecca Vincent – Rebecca is a human rights activist and a former U.S. diplomat. She is currently the Advocacy Director of the Baku-based Human Rights Club, and has worked for a wide range of international and Azerbaijani human rights organisations. She writes regularly on human rights issues in Azerbaijan.

Emma Hughes – Emma works with Platform on external energy policy. She currently leads Platform’s work on the Euro-Caspian pipeline complex. Platform recently published The Oil Road: Journeys from the Caspian Sea to the City of London.

Event is from 10am-12pm Thursday 24 October Committee Room 6, House of Commons, Westminister, London, SW1A 0AA. Please allow half an hour to get through security.
Please RSVP to [email protected] by 1pm Wednesday 23 October