This website is an archive of the work of Marietje Schaake in the European Parliament between 2009 and 2019. Marietje can be reached at

Plenary speech on Azerbaijan, the case of Ilgar Mammadov

Marietje Schaake, author − Mr President, Azerbaijan has committed itself to respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law in the context of the Eastern Partnership, and its membership of the Council of Europe and the OSCE. However, these agreements are not just signatures on paper: they must translate into action. Political trials and the repression of civil society and the media must end. Specifically, Ilgar Mammadov must be released and charges against him dropped. The intimidation of journalists, the fining of demonstrators and the outright banning of peaceful assembly are unacceptable. I urge President Barroso to take up the issues of human rights and media freedom at the highest level when he meets President Aliyev on 21 June 2013. Our economic, energy and strategic interests must not overshadow the great importance of human rights. The people in Azerbaijan look to the EU as a community of values, and rightly so. We must not turn our backs on those people, who deserve to have their fundamental freedoms protected.