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President relieved at the release of Mr Mammadov, calls to free all other persons detained because of their critical views

Liliane Maury Pasquier, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), has expressed her relief at the release of Ilgar Mammadov, leader of the opposition civic movement ReAl in Azerbaijan, who had served more than five years in prison.

“The Parliamentary Assembly had repeatedly called on the Azerbaijani authorities to comply with the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights which ruled, in 2014, that Mr Mammadov`s arrest and prosecution had been politically motivated, and, in 2017, that his trial had been unfair,” she underlined. “The decision of the Shaki Court of Appeal is to be welcomed,” she said.

“At the same time, it is disappointing that the remaining part of the original sentence resulting from an unfair trial was replaced by a probation period of two years without the right to leave Azerbaijan,” she added. “We also have to remember that there are other persons detained in Azerbaijan on politically motivated charges and I urge the authorities to release them, too,” Mrs Maury Pasquier concluded.