20 March 2019, 09:32

EU and USA urge Azerbaijan to completely solve the problem of political prisoners

The European Union (EU), the PACE (Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe), the US Embassy in Baku and international human rights organizations have welcomed the clemency of 51 political prisoners in Azerbaijan, pointing to the need to release the rest of them. However, rights defenders have cautioned that until the country's repressive system itself is dismantled, it is not worth exaggerating the value of pardoning.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on March 16, the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliev pardoned 431 convicts.

The release of illegally imprisoned activists in Azerbaijan is a step in the right direction, but more is needed to overcome repressions in Azerbaijan, the human rights organization, Amnesty International (AI), has stated.

It's incorrect to welcome the release of innocently convicted people, Intigam Aliev, the head of the Legal Education Society, believes. "We need to voice even more loudly the demand to release political prisoners ... Otherwise, they'll release some of them, and place others in jail instead," he has explained.

According to his version, 74 people are on the list of the Civil Society Working Group, where he is the coordinator, still after the clemency.

The release of a large number of political prisoners has to do with a change in the global geopolitical situation, said Bashir Suleimanly, the head of the Civil Rights Institute. "The West strengthens sanctions against Russia and Iran, and Azerbaijan has no choice but to intensify cooperation with Europe and the United States, who demand the respect for human rights," he has concluded.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on March 19, 2019 at 10:03 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Faik Medjid; Source: CK correspondent

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