Hague raises Mammadli's arrest with Azeri officials

Hague raises Mammadli's arrest with Azeri officials
U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague discussed the arrest of an Azeri civil rights activist with President Ilham Aliyev during a visit to the former Soviet republic for the signing of a natural gas export deal.Anar Mammadli, head of the non-governmental Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Center, was arrested on Dec. 16 for tax evasion and illegal entrepreneurship, charges his defense team rejected as politically motivated.“We have raised that specific case; we will continue to raise concerns,” Hague told reporters in Baku, the Azeri capital, after meeting with Aliyev and Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov. “For us, economic development and greater prosperity go along with greater human rights.”

Hague yesterday attended the signing by the BP Plc-led group of a $45 billion deal to produce and export gas to Europe from the Shah Deniz field in the Caspian Sea.



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