Participant of a rally in Baku demands to release political prisoners. Photo by Aziz Karimov for the Caucasian Knot

31 January 2020, 10:37

PACE calls on Azerbaijan to solve the problem of political prisoners

The problem of political prisoners in Azerbaijan has not been solved, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has stated in its resolution, calling on the country's authorities to review the cases of convicted activists and journalists.

On January 30, 2020, at its winter session, the PACE considered the "Case on Reports on Political Prisoners in Azerbaijan". The draft resolutions and recommendations prepared on the basis of the report of Torild Sunna Evarsdottir, the PACE Rapporteur were presented for discussion.

"If the problem of political prisoners in Azerbaijan is not solved, the country's membership in the Council of Europe will be in question," Ms Torild Sunna Evarsdottir has stated.

The members of the Azerbaijani delegation have strongly disagreed with the provisions of the report.

Thus, Sakhiba Gafarova, an Azerbaijani MP and a member of the country's delegation to the PACE, called the presentation in the report of "religious radicals convicted for criminal offenses as political prisoners" unacceptable.

None of the three amendments proposed by the Azerbaijani delegation was adopted. The resolution was adopted by a majority of 82 votes, with 28 delegates voting against and six abstentions. The recommendations were adopted with the same ratio. In them, the PACE has called on the Azerbaijani authorities to review the cases of those whose names are on the lists compiled by the civil society and release all those who were imprisoned for political reasons.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on January 31, 2020 at 00:40 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Faik Medzhid; Source: CK correspondent

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