As a report on “political prisoners in Azerbaijan” is under preparation in the Parliamentary Assembly, the Azerbaijani justice system is as flawed as ever. The country is constantly ranking among the most oppressive in Europe. President Aliyev has consolidated the power in his own hands, once again stealing the popular vote in an atmosphere of intimidation. Democratic and human rights standards, particularly in the justice system, have been severely damaged.
Politically motivated prosecutions and imprisonments, allegations of mistreatment, false charges, and even torture against the regime’s opponents are the authorities’ main tool of fighting against the opposition. Furthermore, the government refuses to implement the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights denying its citizens basic human rights.
Lately there have been more and more instances of political arrests, as for example Mehman Huseynov, anticorruption journalist and human rights defender, who has been imprisoned for 24 months on bogus charges for exposing corruption among government’s officials; another example is Ilgar Mammadov, whose immediate release has been demanded by the European Court of Human Rights and other bodies of the Council of Europe. Azerbaijan must be held accountable for their blatant disregard of the legally-binding commitments before the Council of Europe.