The Central Election Comission of Azerbaijan. Photo by Aziz Karimov for the "Caucasian Knot"

24 April 2020, 20:17

Review of Mamedov's and Jafarov's cases confirms political prisoners in Azerbaijan

The decision of the Supreme Court (SC) of Azerbaijan to acquit Ilgar Mamedov and Rasul Jafarov, former "prisoners of conscience," confirmed the practice of prosecution of activists in the country for political reasons. The cases against other six activists from the so-called "Ilgar Mamedov group" have not yet been reconsidered, in contradiction to the decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), and repressions in the country continue, human rights defenders state.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that in 2019, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (CoE) called on the Azerbaijani authorities to remove criminal records from eight activists of the so-called "Ilgar Mamedov group." On April 23, the Supreme Court of Azerbaijan reconsidered the cases of Ilgar Mamedov and Rasul Jafarov and acquitted them.

The so-called "Ilgar Mamedov group" is comprised of government critics, civil society activists, and human rights defenders, who have all been subjected to prosecution by the Azerbaijani authorities.

Well-known human rights defender Intigam Aliev noted that the Azerbaijani SC restored the rights of only two out of eight complainants, although the Strasbourg Court and the CoE Committee of Ministers insisted on full rehabilitation of all eight activists.

According to Intigam Aliev, if the other six complainants are not released, "this may cause trouble for the authorities."

The human rights defender mentioned the recent arrest of activist Tofig Yagublu on "trumped-up" charges.

Elshan Gasanov, the head of the Centre for Monitoring Political Prisoners, also considers the decision of the Supreme Court of Azerbaijan "an imitation of the rule of law."

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on April 5, 2020 at 02:51 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Faik Medjid; Source: CK correspondent

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