Human Rights for Sale: Europe Selling and Azerbaijan Buying


(European Stability Initiative Report) – Can basic international norms be undermined by corruption? Can international politics be
fundamentally reshaped by the personal greed of politicians? These are among the most
important questions in global politics today. When it comes to the Council of Europe, guardian
of the European Convention of Human Rights and, since its creation in 1949, the leading
intergovernmental human rights institution in the world, the answer to both questions is yes. 

In recent years, the leaders of Azerbaijan, a small autocracy in the Caucasus, have shown how
easy it is to undermine core human rights standards and bend a formerly proud institution to its
will. They have done so in close cooperation with Russia, and with the active support of elected
politicians from across Europe, including from some of its oldest democracies. In the process,
they filled a rolodex with names of politicians across the continent who have something to hide
and can be blackmailed in the future. Nobody should have illusions that these methods are
restricted to the Council of Europe. Nobody should assume that it is only Azerbaijan that is
exploiting the greed of politicians. And it is not only the massive corruption that should worry

Click here to read the European Stability Initiative’s (ESI) Report titled “The European Swamp (Caviar Diplomacy Part 2), Prosecutors, corruption and the Council of Europe.”

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