15 October 2018, 14:50

Activists claim deterioration of situation with protection of citizens' rights in Azerbaijan

In Azerbaijan, the situation with the protection of the citizens' rights has never been as bad as it is now, report participants in the public hearings organized by the Committee for Solidarity in the Name of Justice (CSNJ).

The CSNJ was founded this July. It unites about 20 activists and rights defenders.

The "Caucasian Knot" correspondent reports that the participants of the public hearings noted the need to liberalize the policy towards the institutions of civil society.

Arzu Abdullaeva, the co-chair of the Helsinki Civil Assembly (HCA), has noted that the situation began to deteriorate sharply after the 2014 amendments restricting the activities of NGOs and donors.

Lawyer Elchin Mamed, the head of the NGO "Legal Education of Sumgait Youth", has mentioned that starting from January 1, 2018, the practice for representation of citizens in the courts by non-advocates had been cancelled.

According to Elchin Mamed, the lack of advocates produces a particularly negative impact on the situation of citizens involved in lawsuits with the banks because of problem loans.

"People are unable to repay loans, and banks initiate lawsuits and take the people's mortgaged property. Poor citizens are left in the courts without protection in front of rich bankers," Elchin Mamed notes.

Besides, Azerbaijan has the lowest per capita legal aid budget (EUR 0.06) among the CE (Council of Europe) states. The country also has the lowest number of advocates per 100,000 residents 9.5.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on October 14, 2018 at 02:25 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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