PACE Appointed New Rapporteur on Human Rights in Azerbaijan

PACE Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights at the meeting on March 7 in Paris appointed a new Rapporteur on human rights in Azerbaijan.

Instead of the new President of the PACE Pedro Agramunt, the new speaker is a Belgian MP Alain Destex, Turan reported from the Council of Europe.

Destex is known as an expert in the field of human rights. In particular, he is the author of the book on the genocide in Rwanda, where Destex worked in the mission of an international nonprofit organization.

It should be noted that the institution of the PACE rapporteur on Human Rights was established in June 2014 after persistent appeals of civil society activists to restore the post of rapporteur on political prisoners in Azerbaijan.

In particular, the PACE Bureau on June 23, 2014 approved a draft resolution entitled "Azerbaijan's chairmanship in the Council of Europe: What steps have been taken in terms of respect for human rights?" the document "Proposal for a resolution on political prisoners in Azerbaijan" was adopted on the basis of this decision.

The issue of political prisoners in the country was referred to the PACE Committee on Human Rights.

On June 25 the PACE Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights discussed the issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan. Because of the opposition of the Azerbaijani delegation, it was decided to appoint a rapporteur on the whole human rights, without the emphasis on the political prisoner problem.

A critic of human rights violations in Azerbaijan, an Irish MP Michael McNamara offered the post of speaker to an MP from the Netherlands Pieter Omtzigt. The alternative candidate was a Spanish MP Pedro Agramunt, who was elected by a majority vote.

A few weeks after this an unprecedented repression wave started in Azerbaijan against NGOs, when dozens of organizations were involved in investigation and the leading human rights activists were arrested.

Over the past two years Agramunt did not come to Azerbaijan as Rapporteur on human rights and actually sabotaged the report.

However, against the backdrop of harsh criticism of the situation with human rights in Azerbaijan by the international community, the PACE has finally appointed a new Rapporteur.  -06D-

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