Government shuts down National Democratic Institute office in Baku
March 10, 2011
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USA’s National Democratic Institute (NDI) has been warned that its Baku Office will be shut down.
According to information given to RFE/RL Azerbaijani service, on 7 March head of NDI’s Azerbaijan agency Alex Grigoriev was called to the Ministry of Justice and given a letter of notice about the office being shut down.
The letter outlines that Azerbaijan’s legislation does not allow international organizations to operate in the country without registration, and demands that NDI stops all activity in Azerbaijan.
In the last five years, NDI has addressed the Ministry of Justice to go through registration several times but was refused each time.
Currently consultations are taking place with the US Embassy, US Agency for International Development (USAID) and NDI’s office in Washington.
Speaker for the United States Embassy in Baku Keith Bean has told RFE/RL that they are trying to clarify the issue regarding NDI’s agency. There will be an official statement as soon as this is done.
NDI had stopped its programs with political parties in Azerbaijan over a year ago. The Institute’s main activities were election monitoring and youth programs.