Nefes LGBT Azerbaijan Alliance officially till unknown date work terminates in Azerbaijan on 10nd of February, 2015. The sociopolitical situation in the country, increasing number of arrests and chasing of individuals and organizations working for human rights by government, as well as increasing risks for personal life and personal safety of organization members made to take this serious action.
We are sorry to announce that it is not possible to run “Compete for Equality” campaign within borders of Azerbaijan due to conditions stated above. Our view is such that Azerbaijan Republic is not interested in Human Rights NGOs to operate in the country; government wants to hide the state of the LGBT rights in Azerbaijan, and does not want legislative defaults on LGBT Rights to be discussed, and government does not want denying obligations that Azerbaijan Republic signed to be revealed.
Another reason for taking this serious action was recent changes to NGO operating legislation. “Nəfəs” LGBT Azerbaijan Alliance has stated during several meetings with CoE, embassies of CoE member countries, US Embassy in Baku that the changes to the legislation is not optimization of the existing rules, but targets Human Rights Organizations and its executive members. There are many examples of NGO Executives getting arrested with unjustified reasons after changes o the legislation. “
Nefes LGBT Azerbaijan Alliance has applied twice to Ministry of Legislation for registration and could not get official response. “Nəfəs” LGBT Azerbaijan Alliance executive members are under serious risk of legislative actions if organization continues to operate without registration. Therefore, Nefes LGBT Azerbaijan Alliance is forced to terminate operating.
Nefes LGBT Azerbaijan Alliance officially terminates work within borders of Azerbaijan, but will continue working abroad. We will continue to work with international organizations to run campaigns on state of Human Rights and LGBT Rights in Azerbaijan. One of the plans is to establish a network of Azerbaijani LGBT and Human Rights activists living abroad.