28 June 2012
Amazing Azerbaijan? Clips from a film and a presentation in New York

When Azerbaijan was admitted to the Council of Europe, despite well documented democratic failings, it was with the idea that Council of Europe membership would gradually transform Azerbaijan. Sadly, the reverse has occurred. The outcome is a tragedy for the citizens of Azerbaijan, particularly those brave pro-democracy activists who languish in jail as political prisoners. But it is also a tragedy for Europe, whose values have been trampled. And it is certainly a tragedy for the Council of Europe itself, which urgently needs to recover the values its founders entrusted it with if it is to justify its continued existence.

Azerbaijan is the focus of a public debate in New York on "Fixing the Democracy Discourse: How Autocratic Regimes Undermine Democratic Institutions in the West", organised by the Open Society Foundations on 28 June.

Speakers:

  • Gerald Knaus, Director, European Stability Initiative, Istanbul
  • Khadija Ismayilova, Investigative Journalist, Baku
  • Ken Silverstein, Author and Open Society Fellow, Washington, DC
  • Lincoln Mitchell, Associate Research Scholar, Columbia University, New York (moderator)

Please find out more about the event on OSI's website.

ESI report: Caviar Diplomacy. How Azerbaijan silenced the Council of Europe (24 May 2012)

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Malcolm Bruce: Council of Europe and Azerbaijan – a broken promise. Video: Merminfilm. All rights reserved

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Agim Khalil: Dissidents in danger in Baku. Video: Merminfilm. All rights reserved

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Khadija Ismayilova: Speaking the truth – and running huge risks. Video: Merminfilm. All rights reserved
About us
Photo credits
Alan Grant is an Irish photographer who travelled extensively in the Balkans and other countries and regions of the world. Thanks to him, ESI is able to show fascinating pictures of the Balkans: the facades of Tirana, the painted mosques of Travnik, the fabulous old houses of Plovdiv and the spectacular blue of water - dark in the Bay of Kotor, emerald in the river valleys of Bosnia, deep blue in Ohrid, twinkling in the Aegean Sea and on the Bosporus.

You can find out more about Alan Grant on his websites:
Jonathan Lewis lives between London and Istanbul. He moved to London and spent many years studying photography and now specialises in photojournalism, documentary photography and commercial work for a wide variety of private and commercial clients in the UK, Europe and Turkey. His work has appeared in a number of magazines and publications and is used on the ESI website as well.

You can find out more about Jonathan Lewis on his website www.jonathanlewisphoto.com