Doc. 9728

5 March 2003

Political prisoners in Azerbaijan

Motion for a resolution

presented by Mr Jurgens and others

This motion has not been discussed in the Assembly and commits only the members who have signed it.

1.       The Assembly is deeply concerned about the great number of persons detained in Azerbaijan for purely or principally political reasons. In accordance with the information at our disposal, there are now some 300 of these “political” prisoners.

2.       In its Opinion No. 222 (2000), adopted on 28 June 2000, the Assembly had noted as one of Azerbaijan’s commitments “to release or to grant a new trial to those prisoners who are regarded as “political prisoners”, and especially Mr Iskander Gamidov, Mr Alikram Gumbatov and Mr Raqim Gaziyev”.

3.       The Assembly recalls its Resolution 1272 (2002) in which it noted that the three above-mentioned prisoners were due to be re-tried as from December 2001. The Assembly is concerned about the length of these re-trials, which are pending to date, without a date of completion in the foreseeable future. The Assembly requests Azerbaijan to consider releasing them meanwhile, especially in view of the serious health problems of two of them.

4.       The Assembly also urges the release of the remaining political prisoners on the list of seventeen pilot cases recognised as such by the experts appointed by the Secretary General, that is to say case No. 5 (Amiraslanov Elchin Samed oglu), case No. 7 (Efendiyev Natig Islam oglu), case No. 15 (Kazymov Arif Nazir oglu), case No 16 (Abdullayev Qalib Jamal oglu), case No 17 (Guseynov Suret davud oglu), case No. 18 (Safikhanov ligar) and case No. 25 (Gusaynov Guseynbala).

5.       The Assembly also asks for the review of the cases of those alleged political prisoners as requested by the Rapporteur of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights during his visit to Baku on 27 and 28 December 2001 (Mrs Sirma Sönmez and MM. Janmirza Mirzoyev and Aydin Shirinov).

6.       The Assembly notes that, although some political prisoners have been released, they do not include the most emblematic ones, and that many remain in prison.

7.       Reports indicate that the health and the conditions of detention of some of these prisoners have considerably deteriorated, for instance for those who have been transferred to Qobustan prison.

8.       The Assembly therefore makes an urgent appeal to the Azerbaijan authorities to honour their commitments as set out in the above-mentioned Assembly Opinion No. 222 (2000) and to give a positive reply to the Assembly’s request contained in its Resolution 1272 (2002).

Signed 1:

Jurgens, Netherlands, SOC

Cilevičs, Latvia, SOC

Goris, Belgium, LDR

Guardans, Spain, LDR

Lydeka, Latvia, LDR

McNamara, United Kingdom, SOC

Nabholz-Haidegger, Switzerland, LDR

Piscitello, Italy, LDR

Škrabalo, Croatia, LDR

Toshev, Bulgaria, EPP

Wohlwend, Liechtenstein, EPP

1        SOC: Socialist Group

      EPP: Group of the European People’s Party

      EDG: European Democratic Group

      LDR : Liberal, Democratic and Reformers’ Group

      UEL: Group of the Unified European Left

      NR: not registered in a group