The South Caucasus Network of Human Rights Defenders

On June 2, the Garadag District Court of Baku chaired by Ismail Khalilov continued the litigation on the new case of the earlier convicted journalist Einullah Fatullaev, this time accused of illegal drug storage.
On 5th of June, in the capital of Azerbaijan the police have dispersed the participants of the protest action organized by the oppositional block "Azadlyg" (Freedom), who demanded the freedom of assembly and fair parliamentary elections. All the protesters were brought to the police station.
On 25 March, in London, a presentation ceremony was held for the 10th Freedom of Expression Award of “Censorship index”. Azerbaijani lawyer, Media Rights Institute Head Rashid Hajili received the Law and Campaigning award. This award is given to lawyers or campaigners who have fought repression, or have struggled to change political climates and perceptions. See futher
On April 6, 2010 OSCE/ODIHR Director Ambassador Janez Lenarcic and OSCE/ODIHR Human Rights Adviser Benjamin Moreau met with the Network members from Armenia. Representatives from the Human Rights House Foundation, international partner of the Network, and Human Rights Center, coordinator in Georgia, also participated in the meeting.
"Helsinki Citizens' Assembly-Vanadzor" is implementing a project called “Training and networking for young human rights activists” from March 1, 2010. The project is partially funded by The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) private, nonprofit foundation only for the period March-August, 2010.
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Armen Arutyunyan, Ombudsman of Armenia, stood against the offered format of his participation in the forum of the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) to be held in Yerevan on April 6-8. He sent a letter to the organizers asking to exclude him from the list of participants, as "he would not be given a chance to express his viewpoint alternative to the authorities' one."
The report says: “Lack of proper justification of interim rulings and final verdicts represent one of the most problematic issues in the judiciary system.”
The report also notes increase of complaints submitted by inmates to the Public Defender’s Office about their mistreatment by prison officials.  see further
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi

There has been “an unprecedented increase” in the funding of local self-government bodies ahead of the May local elections, Transparency International-Georgia said in a report. See further 

see the full report 

An Azerbaijani opposition journalist and the editor in chief of "Azadliq" newspaper, Qanimat Zahid, was freed on March 17 three years into a four-year sentence for what supporters say were politically motivated charges of hooliganism, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reports. 
Last Saturday, the founder and editor-in-chief of the newspaper “Chance” Bondo Kurdadze left Georgia together with his wife and three children. He spoke about the reasons of leaving the country on the phone with He is in Kiev now. On March 19, he requested political shelter to the president of the Ukraine officially and through media-sources. He requested political shelter for his family members from the European states too.
On March 12, 2010 Helsinki Association presented its Annual Report on the situation of Human Rights in Armenia for the year of 2009.

See the Report in English here

"Human rights are timeless, but our efforts to protect them must be grounded in the here-and-now. We find ourselves in a moment when an increasing number of governments are imposing new and crippling restrictions on the nongovernmental organizations working to protect rights and enhance accountability. New technologies have proven useful both to oppressors and to those who struggle to expose the failures and cowardice of those oppressors." See further 

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