U.S. Department of State Press Statement on REAL Chairman Mammadov

The United States joins the Council of Europe, the European Union, and others in expressing concern about the decision of the Supreme Court of Azerbaijan to deny REAL Chairman Ilgar Mammadov’s appeal on November 18, reads US State Department statement.

We urge the Azerbaijani authorities to drop all charges against Mr. Mammadov, to comply with the 2014 European Court of Human Rights ruling on his case, and to release Mr. Mammadov and other individuals who have been incarcerated for exercising their fundamental freedoms, says the document.

* Mammadov was arrested on false charges of organizing riots in the town of Ismayilli in January 2013 and sentenced to 7 years in prison. The ECHR in May 2014 recognized the illegality of Mammadov’s arrest and called for his release.

The Council of Europe Committee of Ministers at the meeting of 20-21 September found a violation of the European Convention of Human Rights and Freedoms in refusal to release Mammadov. Discussing Baku’s refusal to execute the decision of the ECHR, the Committee of Ministers adopted a resolution, viewing the refusal of liberating Mammadov as a violation of Article 46.1 of the European Convention for Human Rights and Freedoms, which requires compulsory execution of ECHR judgments.

The Committee called on the Azerbaijani authorities to fulfill their obligations voluntarily and expressed a hope that the Supreme Court within a reasonable time will consider Mammadov’s complaint.

According to human rights defenders, the reference to Article 46 means that in case of further refusal to release Mammadov, the Committee of Ministers may take sanctions against Azerbaijan. -03D-

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