PACE condemns ‘human rights crackdown’ in Azerbaijan, calls for end to repression of government critics

PACE has condemned what it called “the crackdown on human rights in Azerbaijan” and called for an end to the “systemic repression” of human rights defenders, the media and those critical of the government, including politically motivated prosecutions.

Approving a resolution on “the functioning of democratic institutions in Azerbaijan” based on a report by Pedro Agramunt (Spain, EPP/CD) and Tadeusz Iwinski (Poland, SOC), the Assembly called on the authorities to release all political prisoners, including those who have co-operated with the Parliamentary Assembly.

The resolution also welcomed the reduction of corruption levels in Azerbaijan, especially due to the network of public service halls known as ASAN centres, and recent legal changes to the judiciary.

The parliamentarians made a series of recommendations to the authorities of Azerbaijan as part of the Assembly’s ongoing monitoring of the country – including steps to reinforce democratic “checks and balances” in the system, ensure a fairer electoral framework, and further boost judicial independence.