Thursday, 6 October 2011

Spot the difference

Here's Baroness O'Cathain, chair of the Conservative Friends of Azerbaijan:
Azerbaijan, the United Kingdom and the Conservative Party have much in common.
The importance of heritage and history, tolerance of all faiths, a respect for the rule of law, strong support for the family, and a readiness to trade with the world are all hallmarks of Azerbaijan, the UK – and the Conservative Party. We share many beliefs, and as CFAZ we aim to strengthen ties and develop relationships.

And here's an extract from Amnesty's human rights assessment of that country. 
Journalists and civil society activists continued to face intimidation. The authorities continued to ban demonstrations in the centre of Baku. NGOs and religious organizations faced restrictions in obtaining registration.
The parliamentary elections on 7 November were described by the OSCE as “peaceful” but “not sufficient to constitute meaningful progress in the democratic development of the country.”
Some 600,000 people internally displaced by the conflict continued to suffer discriminatory registration requirements and inadequate housing. 
Threats, harassment, and acts of violence against journalists and civil society activists continued with impunity, leading to an increase in self-censorship. 
Criminal and civil defamation laws were used to silence criticism, resulting in prison sentences and heavy fines against journalists. On 12 February, the parliament (Milli Mejlis), approved a ban on the use of video, photo, or voice recordings without the subject’s prior knowledge or consent. Only law enforcement officials were exempt. Journalists and civil society activists were frequently subjected to violence and prevented from carrying out their work, sometimes through excessive use of force by police officers. 
Demonstrations continued to be banned in Baku’s city centre.
Mmm, what charming friends and paymasters. the Conservatives have.

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