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Rapporteur on political prisoners in Azerbaijan deplores the authorities’ failure to implement judgments of the Court

Sunna Ævarsdottir (Iceland, SOC), rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on “reported cases of political prisoners in Azerbaijan”, has today reacted to the Azerbaijani authorities’ failure to implement key provisions of important judgments of the European Court of Human Rights before the 31 December 2019 deadline set by the Committee of Ministers.

“I am deeply disappointed by the Azerbaijani authorities’ failure to quash the convictions of Ilgar Mammadov and other applicants in cases where the European Court found politically motivated misuse of the criminal justice system,” said Ms Ævarsdottir. “The Committee of Ministers set a strict deadline of 31 December for the Azerbaijani Supreme Court to complete its examination of these cases, and that deadline has been missed.”

“This is a crucial issue both for the individuals concerned and for Azerbaijan’s position in the Council of Europe. If the convictions are not quashed before this Friday, 10 January, the applicants will be unable to register as candidates for the February general election. This will cast serious doubt on the democratic legitimacy of those elections, on Azerbaijan’s respect for the authority of the Court and on its commitment to democracy and the rule of law in general.”

“The Assembly will examine developments very closely at the end of this month when it debates my report, which was adopted unanimously by the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights,” she concluded.