PACE: Problem of Azerbaijan's political prisoners not resolved or recognized

PACE: Problem of Azerbaijan's political prisoners not resolved or recognized

PanARMENIAN.Net - The problem of political prisoners in Azerbaijan, as identified and described in a January 2020 resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, “has been neither duly recognized nor adequately addressed by the authorities, let alone resolved”, according to a follow-up PACE report declassified recently.

The follow-up report, prepared by Thorhildur Sunna Ævarsdóttir (Iceland, SOC) and endorsed by the Assembly’s Legal Affairs Committee at a meeting on Tuesday, June 22, said most provisions of the resolution “have not been implemented” by the authorities.

“The only exceptions are the inexcusably late quashing of the convictions of Mr Ilgar Mammadov and Mr Rasul Jafarov […] and the late submission of partial information to the Committee of Ministers in the context of its supervision of relevant judgments of the European Court of Human Rights,” the report said.

In a separate statement, the Legal Affairs Committee endorsed the report and expressed “particular disappointment” at the failure of the Azerbaijani delegation to the Assembly to co-operate with the rapporteur in the exercise of her mandate, as well as the continuing failure of the Azerbaijani authorities to implement fully the relevant, binding judgments of the European Court of Human Rights.

In recent years, the European Court of Human Rights (the Court) has issued a very large number of judgments finding violations of the European Convention on Human Rights arising from arbitrary arrest and detention of opposition politicians, civil society activists, human rights defenders and critical journalists, often combined with violations of their freedoms of expression or assembly. Six of these judgments, covering a total of nine cases, exceptionally found violations also of Article 18 of the Convention based on the authorities’ misuse of criminal law provisions on arrest and detention for purposes not permitted under the Convention.

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