The police detains an activist. Azerbaijan. Photo: REUTERS/Aziz Karimov

13 July 2019, 10:06

CoE's Human Rights Commissioner states threat to freedom of expression in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan should ease the pressure on the freedom of speech, improve the situation of lawyers and continue working towards solving the problems of forced migrants. This was stated by Dunya Miyatovich, the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe (CoE), on the outcomes of her visit to Azerbaijan.

Ms Miyatovich has recalled the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), which emphasized the "disturbing picture of the arrests of government critics and human rights defenders," the CoE's website reports.

The Commissioner raised the problem of the situation of lawyers in Azerbaijan, which has the smallest number of advocates per 100,000 of population among the CoE member-states, which undermines the access to justice.

Besides, Dunya Miyatovich has noted that Azerbaijan has many internally displaced persons (IDPs); and this is a consequence of the unresolved conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding areas.

The Commissioner has stressed the importance of achieving a peaceful resolution of the conflict, "so that IDPs could voluntarily return to their native lands in safe conditions."

Mekhman Guseinov, a blogger and the chairman of the Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety (IRFS), is also concerned about the freedom of self-expression and the media.

"There are still journalists kept in jail. After the arrest in June of Polad Aslanov, the editor of website "xeberman.az", their number reached seven prisoners," he has stated.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on July 12, 2019 at 06:50 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Faik Medjid; Source: CK correspondent

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