Azerbaijan: Activists condemn smear campaign against human rights defender over criticism of SOCAR's operations; company comments
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Author: Turan News Agency
The Solidarity in the Name of Justice Public Committee made a statement in which it condemned the insulting and slanderous campaign launched in the pro-government media against the human rights activist Mirvari Gahramanli...The head of the Committee for the Protection of the Oilmen's Rights Gahramanly was subjected to insults and slander for criticizing SOCAR and, in particular, statements about the company's non-compliance with environmental standards. The authors of the statement indicate that Gahramanly, as the head of a well-known NGO, has always acted as an advocate for human rights, including oil industry workers. She made public the shortcomings in the work of SOCAR, the facts of corruption, and the damage to the environment by the State Oil Company. With monitoring and investigation reports, she contributes to transparency in the extractive industry and increases public oversight. The authors of the statement, civil society activists, strongly condemn the attacks on Gahramanly and demand to put an end to the pressure on the human rights activist and the organization she heads.
As a corporate body, SOCAR upholds the values of freedom of speech. We are in a constant dialogue with trade unions, NGOs and representatives of civil society, taking into account and respecting all various opinions and recommendations. Therefore, there is no basis, let alone evidence for accusing SOCAR of conducting a smear campaign against Mirvari Gahramanli...SOCAR refutes any suggestion of wrongdoing.
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- This is a response from the following companies: State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR)