The Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) strongly condemns the severe beating of NRGI advisory council board member Ilgar Mammadov in an Azerbaijan prison on 16 October 2015. 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.
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.