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Azerbaijan: An Activist Defies NGO Stereotypes

Shanin Javadov (center) is the founder and chairman of the Construction Workers Union in Gabala, Azerbaijan.

Shahin Javadov comes from a long line of rabble rousers.
 
His great-grandfather assassinated a Russian colonial official in Gabala, a crime for which his ancestor was exiled to Siberia. Only in 1917, after the Bolshevik Revolution, was his family allowed to return to Azerbaijan. Another relative also spent time in Siberia amid the 1937 Soviet repressions for publicly coming to the defense of Nariman Narimanov, the famous Azerbaijani Bolshevik revolutionary and writer.
 
“So, I was raised with the idea of fighting against injustice,” Javadov said.
 
Javadov, 52, is the founder and chairman of the Construction Workers Union in Gabala. With about 2,000 members, it's one of the largest non-governmental organizations in Azerbaijan.
 

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Durna Safarova is a freelance journalist who covers Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan: An Activist Defies NGO Stereotypes

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