In September 2017, a massive leak of bank records from 2012 to 2014 showed that the ruling elite of Azerbaijan ran a €2.5 billion slush fund and international money laundering scheme. Part of the money was used to help whitewash Azerbaijan’s international image, which had been rightly tainted due to grave human rights violations.
Investigative journalists from the Organized Crime and Reporting Project (OCCRP) identified several delegates of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), among the ultimate recipients of the laundered money. Politicians took money to promote Azerbaijan and weaken criticism of the government.
Meanwhile, the people of Azerbaijan have been silenced as their government cracks down on activists, critical journalists, and political opponents.
PACE banned the implicated delegates and called upon national authorities to pursue investigations against them. But, more than a year later, we’ve found that in 12 of the 17 European countries where individuals or organisations were implicated in taking bribes, there has been no official follow-up by law enforcement.
We’ve waited long enough. If European authorities continue to allow corrupt regimes to launder their reputation through prominent politicians, bribery will continue unabated.
There have to be consequences for the bribe-takers who helped Azerbaijan’s President Aliyev cover up his country’s many human rights violations.
Join us in demanding justice for those who have been silenced in Azerbaijan for years.