Global Witness condemns the severe beating of Ilgar Mammadov in an Azerbaijan prison on 16 October 2015. Mr Mammadov is an opposition politician in Azerbaijan as well as an advisory council board member of our partner organisation Natural Resource Governance Institute, a civil society organisation calling for better governance of the natural resource sector in the country. It is believed that high-ranking prison staff battered Mr. Mammadov, who has been unjustly imprisoned and remains incarcerated despite international outcry. The beatings have followed intimidations and threats from penitentiary staff, and are in gross violation of international human rights law.
We join the NRGI and other civil society organisations in calling for the EITI to urgently reassess the situation for civil society in Azerbaijan: "As the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) continues to evaluate Azerbaijan’s role in the organization, NRGI urges EITI’s board to consider the shrinking civic space and abuse of dissidents in Azerbaijan and other participating countries. The transparency and accountability movement cannot succeed in countries where governments so blatantly abuse critics. So long as the government continues its oppression, Azerbaijan’s affiliation with EITI as well as the Open Government Partnership brings discredit to those initiatives."