May 28, 2014 - 15:41 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - PACE’s Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights’s condemned the use of Article 12 of the European Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons by Azerbaijan in the case of axe murderer Ramil Safarov, “as a violation of the principles of good faith in international relations and of the rule of law”, the COE official website reported.
The Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons provides for the transfer of foreign prisoners to their home countries. Its purpose is primarily humanitarian, to improve prospects of rehabilitation and reintegration of prison inmates into society.
The draft resolution adopted, based on the report by Christopher Chope (United Kingdom, EDG), notes with concern that the Convention was invoked in order to justify the immediate release upon transfer to Azerbaijan of Ramil Safarov, an Azerbaijani soldier convicted for murdering a fellow Armenian participant of a NATO “Partnership for Peace” training course in Hungary. Upon his arrival in Azerbaijan, he was welcomed as a national hero, granted an immediate pardon, long before the expiry of the minimum sentence set by the Hungarian court, a retroactive promotion as well as other rewards.
The text underlines that the Convention “is not designed to be used for the immediate release of prisoners upon return to their own country”. It underscores the importance of “applying the Convention in good faith and, in interpreting its provisions, adhering to the principles of the rule of law”, in particular in transfer cases that might entail political or diplomatic implications.
The draft resolution should be presented for debate to the Assembly later in 2014.