MEP: EU must speak out against human rights violations Azerbaijan

Member of the European Parliament, Marietje Schaake (ALDE/D66), wants the European Commission, the High Representative and the Member States to speak out against human rights violations in Azerbaijan. Today the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the grave situation in the country. Schaake: "Over the past months the human rights violations have systematically increased with excessive sentences for journalist Khadija Ismayilova and human rights defenders Leyla Yunus and her husband and there are many more in prison. Civil society, political opposition figures, journalists and activists face violence, intimidation and repression. Silent diplomacy and dialogues have not rendered the needed improvements, must speak out now." In the run-up to the vote today, the European People's Party (EPP) tried to postpone the resolution. Schaake: "I'm disappointed we did not send a strong message on behalf of the entire parliament. The Azeri authorities have had all the time in the world to make sure human rights were respected and to implement commitments they made as Members of the Council of Europe, and the OSCE. If the relationship between the EU and Azerbaijan is to develop further, democracy and human rights are an integral part of that. We do need to continue to engage in dialogue with the Azeri regime, but with a strong and clear message that respect for human rights is our first and most important criterion and that the EU will not compromise on this." View the Resolution on Azerbaijan that the European Parliament adopted today. Marietje Schaake's speech in the plenary debate on Azerbaijan:
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