International Partnership Urges Baku to Abolish Law Restricting Institution of Representation in Courts

Baku / 10.11.17 / Turan: The International Partnership for Human Rights expressed concern over the amendments to the Azerbaijani legislation governing the representation of citizens in the courts that were adopted on October 31.

According to the innovations, from now on citizens can be represented only by professional lawyers in courts, while in a country with 10 million people the number of members of the Bar is only 934.

These amendments have also been criticized by a group of lawyers who are afraid of limiting their independent activities.

The International Partnership considers these innovations a step back in a country where human rights are often violated, and the number of political prisoners is growing. The Bar Association is under the influence of the authorities, and undesirable lawyers are expelled from the Bar under the pretext of "violation of professional ethics".

Among them, there is Khalid Bagirov, who defended many well-known political prisoners. He was removed for the protection of the rights of the well-known opposition leader Ilgar Mammadov. Such lawyers as Elchin Namazov, Farhad Mehdiyev, Aslan Ismayilov, Muzaffar Bakhyshov and Alaif Hasanov were also barred.

The International Partnership regards this as a violation of Azerbaijan's international obligations.

The statement calls on the authorities of the country to abolish these amendments. The statement was signed by 39 human rights organizations. -16D--

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