January 12, a demonstration was held at the Fountain Square in Baku against violence in the military. The protest was organised by five young activists, using Facebook and it was the first significant demonstration in Baku since 2011, writes Aleksandra Jarosiewicz at the Centre for Eastern Studies.

Read the analysis

Round Table Discussions in Istanbul with Ambassador Olof Ehrenkrona and Gerald Knaus, founder of the European Stability Initiative, among others

Thursday, December 13, the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation together with the Turkish think-tank Association for Liberal Thinking and the Azeri opposition party National Independence Party of Azerbaijan, organized a round table conference in Istanbul on the condition of strengthening open societies in the region. (more…)

During the night of October 2, the local office of the opposition party National Independence Party of Azerbaijan in the Sabail district of Baku was teared down, without any warning from the authorities. The office was situated at Khanlar street, close to the Crystal Hall, where this years Eurovision Song Contest was held. (more…)

Between August 18-22, the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation arranged this years second Summer School, an ideology conference for young politicians. Young politicians from four of the countries in the EU:s Eastern Partnership, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Belarus participated, as did a number of Swedish youth politicians. (more…)

Strasbourg, 26.6.12: The Committee of Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Council of Europe has adopted today, 26 June 2012, a long-awaited resolution on political prisoners in Azerbaijan. The resolution calls upon the Azerbaijani authorities to resolve the more than 80 cases of political prisoners currently in jail in the country as well as to ensure that no further arrests are made on politically motivated charges. (more…)

“Holding Eurovision Song Contest in Azerbaijan fostered hopes for positive developments in the country”, said National Independence Party of Azerbaijan (NIPA), opposition party and cooperation partner of the Hjalmarson Foundation. “While all of Europe focused on Azerbaijan, the Azerbaijani authorities took no step towards creating a good image of themselves.  Political prisoners, including the political prisoners imprisoned in April, 2011, were not released. As before freedom of assembly and freedom of speech were associated with serious problems: imprisonment as well as beating of journalists and violations of property rights that continued even more aggressively.” (more…)

May 24-27, youth politicians from Eastern Europe and Sweden met at Hotel Utsikten in Nynäshamn, Sweden, to discuss Principles for a Free Society. The 21 participants, representing center-right political parties in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia and Moldova, discussed their countries’ and the regions’ challenges together with their Swedish counterparts. The conference was chaired by professor Nigel Ashford from the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University in Washington DC. (more…)

May 7-10, the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation arranged a party leadership visit to Brussels for the National Independence Party of Azerbaijan (NIPA). The goal with the visit was to strengthen the party’s contacts with European institutions and politicians. NIPA is an opposition party to the Azeri dictatorship and since many years a member of the International Democrat Union (IDU). One of the party’s goals for its international cooperation is to become an observer member of the European People’s Party (EPP). (more…)

Hans-Gunnar Adén (left) and Gunnar Hökmark

MEP Gunnar Hökmark who recently visited Azerbaijan in his role as chairman of the Policy Committee of Euronests Parliamentary Assembly and Hans-Gunnar Adén, former ambassador to Azerbaijan participated on Friday in a seminar on developments in Azerbaijan. An interested crowd of about 30 people had gathered to listen and ask questions.

Hans-Gunnar Adén started out referring to a number of international index that “classify” Azerbaijan as unfree and as a dictatorship. He noted that the Azerbaijani society rather go backwards than forwards in terms such as human rights.  (more…)

On April18, 2012, Azerbaijani journalist Idrak Abbasov was severely beaten by guards from Azerbaijan’s state oil company when he tried to film the demolition of houses by company employees in the village Sulutapa. The demolition seems, as numerous buildings in Azerbaijan, to have been expropriated to make way for new government projects. A number of international journalist organizations, such as Reporters without Borders and PEN, have protested against the National Independence Party of Azerbaijan (NIPA) of the democratic opposition. NIPA is the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation’s cooperation partner in Azerbaijan.
(more…)