Human Rights Defenders Accuse European Bodies of Inaction

Baku / 29.08.17 / Turan: The Monitoring Center for Political Prisoners issued a statement which criticized European bodies for their contemplative position in connection with human rights violations.

"We, the former political prisoners and human rights defenders, for many years in an atmosphere of repression, risking freedom, sometimes even life, fight for the rule of law, adopting European moral values ​​and European legislative standards as a basis. However, our efforts in recent years remain in vain. Quite the opposite, repression is still increasing - there are more unreasonable arrests, illegal judicial verdicts, fatal torture, eliminated independent and opposition media outlets, and blocked government-critical websites. All illegal actions of the authorities remain unpunished," the statement of the Monitoring Center for Political Prisoners says.

All this takes place under the contemplative position of the Council of Europe and its structures, of which Azerbaijan is a member.

The Azerbaijani authorities ignore their human rights obligations to the Council of Europe and the European Convention on Human Rights.

"Contrary to the decision of the European Court of Human Rights, the leader of the REAL movement Ilgar Mammadov has been illegally detained for more than five years. For more than six years, the leader of the Islamic Party, the theologian Movsum Samedov, has been detained and tortured in prison. Another theologian, Taleh Baghirzadeh, was convicted three times for the last five years and for 20 years last time," the head of the Monitoring Center for Political Prisoners Elshan Hasanov said.

The apogee of this arbitrariness was the arrest of the Director of Turan News Agency, Mehman Aliyev, on far-fetched charges of tax evasion, illegal entrepreneurship and abuse of authority.

The criminal investigation and the freezing of the Agency"s bank accounts have also led to the suspension of the Agency"s activities from September 1.

However, he added, European bodies do not take any real steps to improve the situation.

Thus, as a result of the "caviar diplomacy" of the Azerbaijani authorities in PACE, the report of Christoph Strasser on political prisoners in Azerbaijan failed.

"The caviar diplomacy" blossomed even more during the PACE presidency of Pedro Agramunt, when the institutions of civil society were crushed.

At the same time, MP Elkhan Suleymanov, who became a figurant of the scandal over "caviar diplomacy", continues to be a member of the Azerbaijani delegation to PACE.

The authors of the statement also note with regret the lack of real efforts of the European Union to solve problems with human rights in Azerbaijan.

"Our goal is Euro integration and we are deeply disappointed that the Council of Europe and the European Union" do not notice "the broken human lives in Azerbaijan. We former political prisoners demand to pay attention to the arbitrariness of officials, lawlessness of judges, and tortures in modern dungeons and put pressure on the government of Azerbaijan," Hasanov said.

The Monitoring Center for Political Prisoners was established by a group of former "prisoners of conscience" in October 2014. -06D--

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