Azerbaijan Tightens Rules on Foreign NGO Registration

Red Cross and Red Crescent relief items. Azerbaijan has unveiled stricter guidelines for the registration of foreign non-governmental organizations that are working in the country, such the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Azerbaijan has unveiled stricter guidelines for the registration of foreign non-governmental organizations working in the country. The new rules were approved by the Azerbaijani Cabinet on March 16.

Under the new rules, foreign NGOs need to submit written applications to the Ministry of Justice “to start negotiations on preparing an agreement on the state registration of [their] local branches,” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports.

The rules also outlines more conditions that NGOs must agree to in order to get registration, including abiding by the country’s regulations and laws, not engaging in any work or activities in territories occupied because of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and distancing from any political or religious activity.

“The new requirements state that if any of these conditions are unacceptable to an NGO, talks on its registration will be terminated,” the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty says.

The news agency adds that some local lawyers are already calling for a repeal of the new rules, which they say restrict basic human rights.

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  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.