Human rights activists met with PACE co-rapporteurs

Co-rapporteurs of the PACE Monitoring Committee Pedro Agramunt and Joseph Gresh had a meeting with a large group of human rights defenders and civil society activists.

Attending the meeting were Arzu Abdullayeva, Novella Jafaroglu, Saida Gojamanli, Saadat Bananyarly, Eldar Zeynalov, Emin Huseynov, Fuad Hasanov, Oktay Gyulalyev, Samir Kazimli, Elchin Behbudov, Razi Nurullayev and Rafiq Jalil (Co-Chair of the Committee for Hilal Mamedov’s Rights).

The meeting was also attended by the Chairwoman of Amnesty International Natalie Notadze.

As reported by the head of the Azerbaijan National Committee of Helsinki Citizens' Assembly Arzu Abdullayeva, during the meeting, special attention was paid to the issue of political prisoners and violations of freedom of association, expression and the press.

Human rights activists said that they disagreed about the recognition of the Islamists as political prisoners. Despite this, the number of arrested Islamists in jails is very high - about 250, which is several times the number of "prisoners of conscience" and political prisoners. This is a troublesome fact, they said. 

The cases of many of them were considered imperfectly and they were arrested for taking part in protests against the ban on headscarves and others. 

Human rights activists believe that the PACE rapporteurs have to investigate the validity and legality of the prosecution of the Islamists.

The speaker said that on December 10 they will unveil the initial version of the report.

After that the human right defenders can express their views to be taken into account in the final version, presented at the January session of PACE in 2013.   -06D-


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