Strasbourg. 28.08.2014 “Intercultural dialogue: interaction between culture and religion”: in the framework of theAzerbaijani Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers, the 2014 Council of Europe Exchange on the religious dimension of intercultural dialogue will take place at the Hilton Baku Hotel, on 1-2 September 2014.
Deputy Secretary General Gabriella Battaini Dragoni will open the event together with Kamal Abdulla (State Adviser on multinational, multicultural and religious affairs), Mubariz Gurbanly (Chairman of the State Committee on religious associations), and Sheikh-ul-Islam Allahshukur Pashazadeh (Grand Mufti of the Caucasus). Rafael Huseynov, Rapporteur of the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media on “Freedom of religion and religious practices”, representative of the President of the Parliamentary Assembly and Jean-Claude Frécon, President of the Chamber of Local Authorities of the Congress will also be at the opening.
Azerbaijan has included the consolidation of culturally diverse societies based on mutual respect and understanding among the main priorities of its Chairmanship (14 May–13 November 2014), highlighting the role of intercultural dialogue to fight discrimination and intolerance in Europe.
The event will gather senior delegates of religious communities (Buddhists, Christians, Jews, Muslims), representatives of non-religious convictions, interreligious groups, NGOs, youth delegates, experts, academics, as well as mainstream media professionals and international organisations’ officials. (more...)
Speech by Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni
Strasbourg, 29.09.2014 – The second Václav Havel Human Rights Prize – which honours outstanding civil society action in defence of human rights – has been awarded to Azerbaijani human rights defender Anar Mammadli.
As Mr Mammadli is currently in prison, the €60 000 prize was presented to his father, Asaf Mammadov, at a special ceremony today at the Palais de l’Europe in Strasbourg, on the opening day of the autumn plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).
Presenting the trophy, PACE President Anne Brasseur, chair of the selection panel, said: “Mr Mammadli’s commitment lies in the area of promoting democratic institutions and civil and political rights. Annar Mammadli is our long-standing partner who shared with our Assembly, but also with other bodies of the Council of Europe, including its Commissioner for human rights, his valuable expertise on the situation in his country.”
Mr Mammadli is the founder and chairperson of an influential and experienced organisation in Azerbaijan dedicated to observing elections. Since 2001, his Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Centre (EMDS) has been carrying out independent election monitoring in Azerbaijan. (more...)