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President applauds decision to release 148 prisoners in Azerbaijan

“I have received the good news that 148 persons have been released today in Azerbaijan, including Anar Mammadli, winner of the Vaclav Havel Prize, along with political activists, journalists and human rights defenders,” said Pedro Agramunt, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

Included among the list are:

- Human rights defenders, Taleh Khasmamadov, Rasul Jafarov
- Chairman of the National Statehood Party, Nemat Panahli
- NIDA Civic Movement members, Rashad Hasanov, Rashadat Akhundov, Mammad Azizov, Omar Mammadov
- Anar Mammadli, Vaclav Havel Prize winner
- Musavat members, Tofiq Yaqublu, Yadigar Sadiqov, Siraj Karimov
- Journalists, Parviz Hasimov, Hilal Mammadov, Rauf Mirkadirov

"Earlier this month I was in Baku for meetings with the President of Azerbaijan, with the Speaker of the Parliament and with the Minister of Foreign Affairs. I was given assurances that there would be major releases in the coming weeks, and I am glad that these assurances have been kept.

I will continue to work with the Azeri authorities on the issue of detained persons, and I applaud this major initiative which has brought about the release of these 148 persons,” Mr Agramunt concluded.