The United Nations expressed concern regarding demolition of a building containing main offices of several NGOs in Baku. The UN appealed to Azerbaijani government to ensure that human rights defenders work in optimal conditions in the country.
The UN statement relates to destruction of a building where Institute of Peace and Democracy had its headquarter. Baku authorities have launched an urban renewal project which this demolition is a part of. City officials informed that on Shamsi Badalbayli Street (Baku centre) in the future there will be a huge park. The project is overseen by the First Lady of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva.
Besides Institute of Peace and Democracy, in the ill-fated building there were offices of an organization fighting for ban on anti-personnel mines and the Women’s Crisis Center. According to the UN, Azerbaijan’s authorities did not allow the workers to take their personal belongings and equipment, or documents belonging to NGOs. Rferl.org claims that compensation offered for the building by the city officials is insufficient for buying another property in the centre of the capital.