Rachel Owens, Acting Campaign Leader at Global Witness said:
"The Azerbaijani Government has escaped punishment by the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative with a last minute, cosmetic softening of its crackdown on civil society. We should not be duped – Azerbaijan is gaming the system to preserve its membership of this landmark transparency scheme whilst pushing on with its brutal persecution of activists. The situation underlines the need for the EITI to uphold clear red lines in its safeguards for the protection of civil society, and sanction those that don’t comply. The scheme’s key supporters such as the US and World Bank must support these efforts to ensure the Azerbaijani Government stops its assault on basic freedoms."
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Azerbaijan’s economy is almost entirely dependent on oil, a resource managed almost exclusively by the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (Socar).
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The EITI and Global Witness
When launched in 2001, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) was a remarkable global multi-stakeholder initiative focusing on a critical global development issue: how to make sure that the billions of dollars of oil and mining wealth flowing into national budgets is better tracked and managed.