25 January 2020, 23:14
PACE delegation points Baku to restrictions of political freedoms
The election campaign in Azerbaijan is passing under restriction of the freedom of assembly and is accompanied by persecutions of oppositionists, which does not contribute to democratic parliamentary elections. This was stated by a delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) after its trip to Baku.
The non-admission of Ilgar Mamedov and several other political prisoners to parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan proves the "non-democratic" nature of the ruling regime, Torild Sunna Evarsdottir, the PACE Rapporteur on political prisoners, has stated.
The elections are scheduled for February 9, 2020. The National Council of Democratic Forces (NCDF) of Azerbaijan has decided not to participate in them; this decision was also supported by the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan (PFPA).
The PACE delegation has regretted that some political leaders were prevented from participating in the elections, contrary to the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). Thus, in September 2019, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe demanded from Azerbaijani authorities to remove the criminal record from the oppositional leader, Ilgar Mamedov.
“The main inequality lies in the authorities’ complete control over all election commissions. The government also controls all the country's TV and radio stations, while the opposition and other critics are removed from mass media and broadcasting,” said Samir Kazymly, the coordinator of the Alliance for the Protection of Political Freedoms.
Author: Faik Medjid; Source: CK correspondent