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Deterioration of the situation as regards human rights, rule of law and democracy in Azerbaijan

Written declaration No. 577 | Doc. 13545 | 24 June 2014

Mr Pieter OMTZIGT, Netherlands, EPP/CD ; Mr Damien ABAD, France, EPP/CD ; Ms Maryvonne BLONDIN, France, SOC ; Ms Lolita ČIGĀNE, Latvia, EPP/CD ; Ms Pascale CROZON, France, SOC ; Ms Ute FINCKH-KRÄMER, Germany, SOC ; Mr Paul FLYNN, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr Bernard FOURNIER, France, EPP/CD ; Mr Hans FRANKEN, Netherlands, EPP/CD ; Mr Karl GARÐARSSON, Iceland, ALDE ; Mr Andreas GROSS, Switzerland, SOC ; Ms Arpine HOVHANNISYAN, Armenia, EPP/CD ; Mr Vahe HOVHANNISYAN, Armenia, ALDE ; Ms Anette HÜBINGER, Germany, EPP/CD ; Ms Naira KARAPETYAN, Armenia, EPP/CD ; Mr Pierre-Yves LE BORGN', France, SOC ; Ms Lone LOKLINDT, Denmark, ALDE ; Ms Olivia MITCHELL, Ireland, EPP/CD ; Ms Hermine NAGHDALYAN, Armenia, NR ; Ms Liisa-Ly PAKOSTA, Estonia, EPP/CD ; Ms Marietta de POURBAIX-LUNDIN, Sweden, EPP/CD ; Mr François ROCHEBLOINE, France, EPP/CD ; Mr René ROUQUET, France, SOC ; Mr Armen RUSTAMYAN, Armenia, SOC ; Mr Kimmo SASI, Finland, EPP/CD ; Mr Mher SHAHGELDYAN, Armenia, EPP/CD ; Ms Naira ZOHRABYAN, Armenia, ALDE ; Mr Levon ZOURABIAN, Armenia, ALDE

The undersigned members express their serious concern over Azerbaijan’s persistent failure to honour its obligations and commitments.

Worrying reports of further deterioration of the situation with regards to the freedom of expression and assembly, continuous harassment, arbitrary detention and imprisonment routinely used by Azerbaijan authorities to silence the opposition and independent media, further restrictions on the work of NGOs and the severe crackdown on the civil society, demand the Parliamentary Assembly’s immediate action, using all available tools.

The Assembly has already called on the Azerbaijan authorities to honour its commitments and to respect the fundamental values of the Council of Europe. It is deplorable that no real progress has been made. Moreover, before and during the country’s Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers, the situation has even deteriorated.

Therefore, we urge Azerbaijan to respect the freedom of the press and media, as well as the freedom of expression, to align relevant legislation, particularly the laws on defamation, on NGOs and on the freedom of assembly, with the Council of Europe standards and with the Court’s case law, in full co-operation with and taking into account the opinions of the Venice Commission and to act upon the recommendations made in the report on Azerbaijan by the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights.