Stefan Schennach (Austria, SOC) and Sir Roger Gale (United Kingdom, EC/DA), co-rapporteurs for the monitoring of Azerbaijan by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), have expressed their regret and disdain at the non-enforcement by Azerbaijan of the decision of the European Court of Human Rights with regard to the annulment of the court sentences against Ilgar Mammadov, Head of the Republican Alternative Party (Real), and seven other activists. The deadline for the implementation of the Court’s decision expired on 31 December 2019.
“As things stand, that means that unless the Azeri authorities now take immediate and appropriate action – before the 10 January deadline for nominations – Mr Mammadov and his colleagues will be unable to stand in Azerbaijan’s General Election to be held on 9 February of this year. That, in turn, will call into question the whole democratic basis of the validity of those elections,” said the co-rapporteurs. They also stressed that freedom of expression and freedom of assembly are necessary conditions for free and fair elections.