PACE conference room. Photo: Adrian Grycuk, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36038403

28 January 2020, 11:38

Azerbaijani rights defenders urge PACE to adopt resolution on political prisoners

The winter session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has discussed the situation with political prisoners in Azerbaijan. Its participants called on the PACE to adopt a resolution condemning human rights violations, basing it on the report of Thorild Sunna Evarsdottir, the PACE's Rapporteur on political prisoners in Azerbaijan.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that in September 2019, Ms Evarsdottir, the PACE's Rapporteur, paid a three-day visit to Azerbaijan. In December 2019, the PACE released a statement that the problem of political prisoners in Azerbaijan is a systemic one; and the country needs "fundamental reforms."

On January 27, 2020, within the PACE's winter session in Strasbourg, "parallel discussions" took place on the topic: "The crisis in the Council of Europe: eternal issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan". The event was organized by the Azerbaijan Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety (IRFS).

The hearings were opened by Emin Guseinov, Executive Director of the IRFS, who said that the problem of political prisoners in Azerbaijan had existed since the 1990s.

"The repression flywheel is unstoppable. More and more people are being imprisoned; and this terrifying process has been going on for decades," he has stated.

He has added, referring to the lists compiled by Azerbaijani human rights defenders, that the number of political prisoners in Azerbaijan exceeds 130 people.

Mr Guseinov has stated that the PACE should adopt a resolution based on the report of Thorild Sunna Evarsdottir, the Icelandic MP and the PACE's Rapporteur on political prisoners in Azerbaijan. It is planned to hold a discussion of this issue at the PACE on January 30.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on January 28, 2020 at 05:26 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Faik Medzhid; Source: CK correspondent

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