International Anti-Corruption Day

9 December is

International Anti-Corruption Day

Corruption is a serious crime that weakens democratic development and institutions, undermines economic growth and harms societies across the globe. Did you know that $1 trillion are paid in bribes every year, and that an estimated $2.6 trillion are stolen through corruption every year?

According to Transparency International’s

2017 Corruption Perceptions Index

, Azerbaijan scores 31 out of 100 – a rating that has gradually worsened during the last six years. The country is also


to be ‘a vivid example of how human rights and civil liberties suffer in a country where corruption is rampant.’

One of the most prominent investigations into corruption in Azerbaijan is the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Projects’

Azerbaijani Laundromat

, a series of stories uncovering the $2.9 billion slush fund the Azerbaijani government used between 2012 and 2014 to influence politicians in Europe and the US, including at Europe’s oldest human rights body, the Council of Europe (COE). During a time when Azerbaijani authorities relentlessly

cracked down

on civil society and human rights activists, members of the COE’s parliamentary assembly (PACE)

received millions

to whitewash the country’s image and international reputation, undermining, for instance, a critical report on political prisoners.

Since then, PACE has concluded an investigation into its relations with Azerbaijan and alleged cases of corruption within PACE, leading to thirteen members being


from the organization.

On 10 December 2018, three former members of PACE – Italian Luca Volonte and Azerbaijani politicians Elkhan Suleymanov and Muslum Mammadov – will be


for corruption and vote-rigging.

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