Council of Europe Disappointed by Baku's Refusal to Comply with ECHR Decisions

Baku / 08.01.20 / Turan: The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe issued a statement on January 7 in response to a complaint by the leader of the REAL party, Ilgar Mammadov, who accused the Azerbaijani authorities of violating his right to free elections.

The report said that Baku notified the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe that the date of the plenary session of the Supreme Court, where it will consider the implementation of decisions of the ECHR in the Mamedov case, has not yet been determined. Official Baku promised the CE Committee of Ministers that the decision on this case will be made public "as soon as possible." Until this moment, Mammadov must comply with the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

Stefan Schennach (Austria, SOC) and Sir Roger Gale (United Kingdom, EC/DA), co-rapporteurs for the monitoring of Azerbaijan by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), have expressed their regret and disdain at the non-enforcement by Azerbaijan of the decision of the European Court of Human Rights with regard to the annulment of the court sentences against Ilgar Mammadov, Head of the Republican Alternative Party (Real), and seven other activists. The deadline for the implementation of the Court’s decision expired on 31 December 2019.

“As things stand, that means that unless the Azeri authorities now take immediate and appropriate action – before the 10 January deadline for nominations – Mr Mammadov and his colleagues will be unable to stand in Azerbaijan’s General Election to be held on 9 February of this year. That, in turn, will call into question the whole democratic basis of the validity of those elections,” said the co-rapporteurs. They also stressed that freedom of expression and freedom of assembly are necessary conditions for free and fair elections.

Human rights activist Rasul Jafarov, regarding which the Council of Europe also demanded the execution of the ECHR decision, is convinced that the position of the Azerbaijani government indicates that not allowing him, Ilgar Mammadov and Zaur Gurbanli to be elected is a political decision.

All three candidates represent the Union of Real Republicans.

Ilgar Mammadov agrees with the opinion that the government’s response to the Council of Europe is a formal reply and the authorities do not want to allow him to participate in the elections.

Recall that the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on September 26, 2019 called on the Azerbaijani authorities to annul the convictions and remove criminal records from eight activists, collectively known as the “Ilgar Mammadov’s group,” whose rights were found to be recognized by the Strasbourg court. Among these activists are Ilgar Mammadov, Rasul Jafarov, Zaur Gurbanli, Anar Mammadli, Intigam Aliyev, Uzeyir Mammadli, Rashadat Akhundov and Rashad Hasanov.

The Azerbaijani government was to completely restore their rights by December 31, that is, remove the criminal record. However, this was not done, and these persons cannot run for parliament because of the criminal record. –16B-


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