Participant of hearings held at the US Congress Committee. Still image from video posted by user TomLantosHumanRights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SquEOX7JjI

16 September 2016, 16:44

Hearings at Commission of US Congress call on sanctions against Azeri officials

Azerbaijan is seeing a rise of repressions on the eve of the constitutional referendum, said the participants of hearings held at the Human Rights Committee of the US Congress. They called on Western countries to respond tougher to human rights violations in Azerbaijan.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that in Azerbaijan, the referendum on the constitutional amendments is scheduled for September 26.

The draft amendments provide for the prolongation of the presidential term from 5 up to 7 years, the introduction of the provision on dissolution of the Parliament, and the establishment in Azerbaijan of the positions of Vice Presidents.

Azerbaijan has serious problems with the defence of human rights. This statement was made on September 15 by Jim McGovern, a US Congressman, who opened the hearings at the US Congress Committee.

"On the eve of the referendum, Aliev's government chose the way of still more arrests, tougher terror and unlawful detentions, realizing that they will face public discontent. The results of the forthcoming referendum, no doubt, will be rigged," Turkel Kerimli, a son of Ali Kerimli, the Chairman of the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan (PFPA), said in his speech at the hearings.

Turkel Kerimli urged Western countries to impose sanctions on Azeri state officials. "The introduction of targeted sanctions will be very efficient for the promotion of democratic reforms. Such sanctions should affect particular individuals, not the state," he said, stressing that the West "should do everything possible to make it clear that such behaviour will not be tolerated."

Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.

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