28 June 2018, 23:34
Three Azerbaijani MPs fall under CoE's sanctions
Based on the outcomes of the inquiry into corruption at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), access into the building of the Council of Europe (CoE) is banned for life for two active and one former Azerbaijani MPs. One of them, Gyultekin Gadjibeili, has stated that Azerbaijani authorities prevented her from proving her innocence.
The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that investigators had concluded that European politicians and officials lobbied Azerbaijani interests for bribes. On May 15, the PACE imposed sanctions on Samad Seidov, the head of the Azerbaijani delegation.
In December 2016, the European Stability Initiative (ESI) website posted the investigation "Caviar Diplomacy-2" on bribing PACE deputies in favour of decisions beneficial for Azerbaijani authorities. The bribed deputies voted against PACE's reports condemning human rights violations in Azerbaijan.
The Azerbaijani MPs, who fell under PACE's sanctions, are Muslim Mamedov and Elkhan Suleimanov.
The same decision was made in relation to the above Gyultekin Gadjibeili, a former Azerbaijani MP; however, investigators noted that in her case violations of ethical standards were insignificant.
In the opinion of Rasul Djafarov, the head of the Human Rights Club, the PACE's decision demonstrates the failure of Baku's policy of neutralizing the criticism of human rights violations in the country by the CoE.