Court of Appeal Rejects APFP’s Appeal against Ministry of Justice

On 28 March, Baku Court of Appeal chaired by Judge Elshana Valiyeva considered Azerbaijan Popular Front Party’s (APFP) appeal against the Ministry of Justice over the Ministry’s refusal to recognise the latest congress of the Party.

APFP’s representative Samad Rahimli noted during his speech that the Justice Ministry’s refusal to register the facts of the holding of the congress was unlawful and groundless. He said the Ministry’s decision was actually a step aimed at violating the APFP’s right to freedom of association and electoral right. “The Party organised and held its congress in accordance with the principles stipulated by the legislation. However, the Ministry did not register the results of the congress, i.e. the fact of the election of the chairperson and Supreme Assembly members,” Rahimli noted.

Samad Rahimli asked the court to charge the Ministry of Justice with the duty to register the results of the congress.

The court did not grant the appeal.

Rahimli said the court’s decision was unlawful and would be appealed to the Supreme Court, and if the appeal was denied again, he would submit a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights over the violation of Article 11 (right to freedom of association) of the European Convention.

Background: On 27 September 2015, the APFP held its congress, where Ali Karimli was elected chairman through an open ballot. To have the congress results entered into the state registry, documents were presented to the Ministry of Justice, but the Ministry advised the Party to apply to court citing the existence of another party with the same name.

Note that, APFP Deputy Chairman Razi Nurullayev left the party on 17 October 2015 and founded a political institution with the same name. The APFP leadership declared that Razi Nurullayev’s intention was to divide the party by order of the government. At the moment, the entity created by Razi Nurullayev has almost no political activity.

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