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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