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Aliyev re-elected as President for another 7 years – the chain of oil autocracy that binds Azerbaijan

On 18th April Ilham Aliyev will be inaugurated for the fourth time as President of Azerbaijan. His re-election comes as no surprise. It is so predictable that it barely counted as ‘news’ and consequently got next to no coverage in the international media. Originally the election was scheduled for 17th October, but at nine weeks...

“Unprecedented Change”? What does a corporation in transition look like? – notes from the Shell AGM 2016

“Innovation and care are in our DNA”, says the soft female voice-over that accompanies the new promotional video by Shell. We, the attendees at the corporation’s 2016 Annual General Meeting in the Circus Theater, Scheveningen, sit comfortably in our red velvet seats watching the massive screen above the heads of the Shell directors on the...

A manifesto for Energy beyond Neoliberalism

We’ve written a manifesto titled Energy beyond Neoliberalism: “This is a call for energy democracy. Not energy security or energy separation. A survivable and just energy future means breaking the grip of elite interests on our energy systems, ending dependency, increasing autonomy, building diverse power structures through which we can hold one another to account,...

Tony Blair will advise on controversial gas pipeline from Azerbaijan to Italy

Jamie Doward, Observer

Human rights activist and Platform ally Rasul Jafarov arrested in Azerbaijan

Democracy activist and Platform ally, Rasul Jafarov, was arrested and detained in Baku over the weekend. Rasul has been charged with tax evasion, illegal entrepreneurship and power abuse. These are the same falsified charges that saw independent Azeri election monitor Anar Mammadli jailed for 5.5 years. Rasul’s arrest comes shortly after the prominent human rights...

Gas grabs and 5 questions to power at the Caspian Corridor Conference

The Euro Caspian Mega Pipeline is a massive infrastructure system designed to suck gas out of the Caspian into Western Europe. Construction of the pipeline involves politics and finance as much as it does concrete building materials,  and the conference I’m about to go to is one in a series of events attempting to make...

Support Political Art in Azerbaijan

Art for Democracy website – for human rights in Azerbaijan from epitype on Vimeo. Support Art for Democracy here. Dictatorships, like the Aliyev regime in Azerbaijan, don’t just rely on violence, intimidation and fossil fuels to secure their power. They also need a ‘social license to operate’, especially in other countries like the UK. Our...

Hague heads to Azerbaijan amidst election controversy for “mega gas deal”

On Tuesday Foreign Secretary William Hague will be one of the first European politicians to visit Azerbaijan after Ilham Aliyev’s internationally condemned re-election as President. Hague will be there to attend the ceremony for the signing of a pipeline agreement that will see two trillion cubic meters of gas pumped from Azerbaijan to Europe. Hague...

“Gaz de schiste – c’est fasciste!” – Don’t Frack Algeria

On Monday Algerian activists in London protested against fracking plans, as Minister of Energy and Mines Youcef Yousfi was presenting to the Algeria British Business Council. The chants of “Gaz de schiste! C’est fasciste!” and “No Fracking Way!” could be heard clearly inside the hall, provoking giggling. As the Minister paused, the refrain of “Youcef...

Oil company mega-profits and the dwindling public purse

Yesterday, The Observer ran a story about George Osborne promising to crack down on multinationals avoiding tax in some of the world’s poorest countries. Anger over corporate tax avoidance at a time of massive cuts 
to public spending has placed the issue on the political agenda, especially since widespread popular protest sparked by UK Uncut. The money...

The Oil Road – reviews, interviews and analysis

 The Oil Road has been getting an incredible response from the press, blogs and activists alike. We’ve cobbled together a selection of the best quotes from reviews with links to  the full articles. “An elegantly written travel book…a distinctive blend of travelogue, reportage and history…will make you think the next time you fill the tank”...

A secret military subsidy – pirates and oil corps

New Internationalist featured a blog from Platform on our new briefing A Secret Subsidy: Oil companies, the Navy and the response to piracy. Here’s what we wrote: This week the Combating Piracy Conference has been taking place in London, behind closed doors. This industry-organised event brings together representatives from European Union, NATO and oil and...