Corruption, human rights, civil society should be on Chancellor Merkel’s agenda in Azerbaijan

Issued by Transparency International Secretariat



When Angela Merkel visits Azerbaijan this weekend, the German chancellor should pressure the government over its record on human rights, corruption and treatment of activists, Transparency International said today. 

According to media reports, a key item on Chancellor Merkel’s agenda is German support for the Southern Corridor natural gas pipelines. Germany is reportedly considering granting Azerbaijan a 1.2bn loan towards the project.

“Both Azerbaijan and Germany are entitled to seek a good deal from Chancellor Merkel’s visit to Azerbaijan this weekend. But as the leader of most influential member of the European Union, Chancellor Merkel must ensure that her actions promote and represent European values, and bring enduring results for the release of political prisoners and eased restrictions on funding for civil society organisations,” said Adam Foldes, legal advisor at Transparency International. Transparency International’s chapter in Azerbaijan has significantly minimised its activities due to problems with state registration of foreign funding.

“Last month, MEPs called for future European relations with Azerbaijan to be predicated on supporting democracy, the rule of law and human rights. Germany should adhere to the same principle in its dealings with the country,” continues Foldes.

In July, MEPs recommended that the EU “put in place specific provisions to help Azerbaijan to fight economic crime, including corruption, money laundering and tax evasion, and back investigations into laundering schemes, notably the “Laundromat” affair.”

The ‘Azerbaijani Laundromat’ refers to a US$2.9bn slush fund allegedly sponsored by the Azerbaijani government that used shell companies to launder money and bribe European politicians to supress independent human rights reports, finance fake election observation missions and launder the reputation of Azerbaijan.

In negotiating any deal with the government of Azerbaijan, the German government should insist on freedom for political prisoners, a free and pluralistic media landscape, space for activists to protest and participate in decision making, and concrete measures against corruption, Transparency International said.


For any press enquiries please contact

E: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
T: +49 (0)30 34 38 20 666

Latest

Support Transparency International

Austria’s Strache affair and the undue influence toolkit

A week ago, German newspapers published evidence of the former Vice-Chancellor of Austria and a colleague apparently negotiating corrupt deals with the purported niece of a Russian oligarch close to President Vladimir Putin. The scandal illustrates the tools and methods used by those who wish to enrich themselves from public funds and advance private interests over the public good.

Why corruption matters in the EU elections

What voters should know as they head to the polls.

Four ways the G20 can take the lead on anti-corruption

The globalisation of world trade and finance has been accompanied by an internationalisation of corruption. The G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group therefore has the potential to be a very important partner in the fight for a more just world.

Venezuela: Se necesitan instituciones sólidas para abordar la delincuencia organizada

La corrupción en las más altas esferas del Gobierno venezolano ha causado inestabilidad social y económica extrema y ha debilitado a las instituciones estatales que deberían proteger a la ciudadanía. Las redes de delincuencia organizada actúan con impunidad en todo el país.

Venezuela: Strong institutions needed to address organised crime

Corruption in the top echelons of the Venezuelan government has led to extreme instability and weak state institutions, and allows organised crime networks to act with impunity all across the country.

The trillion dollar question: the IMF and anti-corruption one year on

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has made public commitments and adopted a new framework to address corruption - we check how the IMF is progressing with this one year later.

Three years after the Panama Papers: progress on horizon

The explosive Pulitzer Prize-winning global media project known as the "Panama Papers" turned three years old, and there are many reasons to celebrate.

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media