On September 5, Azerbaijani security officials raided the American NGO IREX (The International Research and Exchange) Baku office. All of the equipment was confiscated along with organizational documents and reports. No official reason was provided although security officials did provide an official search warrant.
This is not the first international NGO facing an attack from the Baku authorities. Transparency International, Oxfam, and National Democratic Institutes were subject to similar mistreatment with their bank accounts frozen and their activities stalled (NDI later closed its office).
IREX reports its bank accounts were froze on July 26 in connection with a criminal case that was launched against a number of local and international non-governmental organizations following Azerbaijan’s chairmanship over the Committee of Ministers at the Council of Europe.
In his defense over the case launched against IREX, President Aliyev’s chief domestic policy adviser and the head of the country’s presidential apparatus, Ramiz Mehdiyev, said on August 29, the independent media are “
anti- Azerbaijani forces
” funded by international donors.