PACE rapporteurs deeply concerned by the detention of Anar Mammadli

PACE rapporteurs deeply concerned by the detention of Anar Mammadli

Lise Christoffersen (Norway, SOC) and Ian Liddell-Grainger (United Kingdom, EC/DA), Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) rapporteurs for the monitoring of Azerbaijan, and Hannah Bardell (United Kingdom, NR), PACE rapporteur on “Threats to life and safety of journalists and human rights defenders in Azerbaijan”, have expressed deep concern over the detention of Azerbaijani civil society leader Anar Mammadli.

“Mr Mammadli is one of the founders of the Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Centre, which carries out independent election monitoring in Azerbaijan. In September 2014 the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe awarded him the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize,” the rapporteurs said.

“Mr Mammadli has previously been persecuted for his human rights work. He was detained in December 2013 and subsequently convicted on a series of trumped-up charges. The European Court of Human Rights held that Mr Mammadli had been prosecuted only in order to silence and punish him for his election monitoring activities. After 2.5 years in prison, he was pardoned in March 2016,” they added.

“We are deeply concerned that Mr Mammadli has been detained once again. His lawyer has stated that the detention is in connection with a case against several journalists of Abzas Media, which is widely viewed by independent civil society as being politically motivated. We urge the Azerbaijani authorities to review this case immediately and ensure that Mr Mammadli is not subjected to criminal prosecution as a result of his valuable human rights work,” the rapporteurs concluded.

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