10 September 2019, 11:22
Rights defenders treat PACE Rapporteur's visit to Azerbaijan as encouraging
Thorhild Sunna Evarsdottir, a PACE Rapporteur, has paid a three-day visit to Azerbaijan, where she met officials, critics of the authorities and prisoners. The rights defenders interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot" expressed hope that the visit of Ms Evarsdottir will help political prisoners.
During her visit, the Rapporteur met four political prisoners – Talekh Bagirzade, Abbas Guseinov, Afghan Mukhtarly and Said Dadashbeili, the press service of the Council of Europe reported on September 9, adding that Ms Evarsdottir also meet civil society activists and experts.
Their interlocutors included the Khadija Ismayilova, a journalist, who expressed her satisfaction with the results of the meeting with the Rapporteur. "It's felt that she has a systematic approach to solving the problem of political prisoners. She understands the need to stop this vicious practice of the 'revolving prison door,' when some political prisoners are released and others are immediately imprisoned instead," Ms Ismayilova told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.
Elshan Gasanov, the coordinator of the "Union for the Liberation of Political Prisoners in Azerbaijan", also treats the Rapporteur's visit as "encouraging".
"The visit to Talekh Bagirzade and Abbas Guseinov has shown that Europe doesn't believe the official version of the Nardaran events: that the special operation was allegedly conducted against 'Islamic extremists'. It was just a punitive operation against the believers fighting for their rights," Mr Gasanov has stated.
This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on September 10, 2019 at 08:02 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.
Author: Faik Medzhid Source: CK correspondent