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PACE monitors, ending visit: issues of serious concern persist in Azerbaijan despite some steps taken to meet Council of Europe commitments

Baku / Azerbaijan

The co-rapporteurs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) for the monitoring of Azerbaijan, ending a five-day visit to the country (3-7 June 2023), have taken note of a number of steps by the authorities to meet their obligations and commitments to the Council of Europe, but added: “Nevertheless, there are many issues of serious concern.”

In a statement, Ian Liddell-Grainger (United Kingdom, EC/DA) and Lise Christoffersen (Norway, SOC) said they had raised a number of concerns with regard to pluralist democracy, the rule of law and human rights during their visit, as pointed out in the Assembly’s last resolution on the monitoring of Azerbaijan.

They made a series of evaluations and recommendations on topics including freedom of expression, the situation of NGOs, the independence of the judiciary, the fight against corruption, prisoners detained on politically motivated charges, the implementation of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, and a number of issues related to the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.

Azerbaijan is one of eleven Council of Europe member states subject to the Assembly’s full monitoring procedure, which involves regular dialogue with authorities, and occasional plenary debates to ensure a state's progress and problems are honestly assessed.