European Court Starts Communication on Two More Azerbaijan Cases

December 19th, 2016

european-court

The European Court of Human Rights has started communication with the government of Azerbaijan on two more cases, lawyer Fariz Namazli said on December 19.

According to the lawyer, Mushfig Mammadov and Samir Huseynov, the applicants in the first case, were members of the community called Jehovah’s Witnesses and were prosecuted for draft evasion. Samir Huseynov was sentenced to 10 months in jail. Mushfig Mammadov in turn was initially sentenced to 6 months in jail by domestic courts. Later, Mammadov was once again prosecuted for evasion of military service and was fined 250 manat. In their case, the European Court has addressed questions to the Azerbaijani government on whether there is any violation of Article 9 of the Convention and whether Article 4 (Right not to be tried or punished twice) of Protocol No.7 of the Convention have additionally been violated in respect of one of the applicants.

The other case communicated to the government has been brought by applicant Khaladdin Soltanov, who went to court after being sacked by his employer, a private company, due to his temporary loss of the ability to work. The applicant sought reinstatement and payment of his wages for the period of involuntary leave. After his complaint was dismissed by district and appellate courts, the Supreme Court revoked the decision of the lower court and returned the case to the Court of Appeal for reconsideration. The Appeal Court ruled for the applicant. This time, the company filed a cassation appeal. During the hearing of the appeal in the Supreme Court, the judges ordered the applicant’s lawyer to leave the courtroom, as the lawyer did not have a new warrant of attorney to represent the applicant. The court did not let the applicant to make his case, as he did not have a lawyer. The Court reversed the Appellate Court’s ruling and decided that the applicant’s dismissal had been lawful. The European Court has asked the government whether there has been a violation of Article 6.1 of the Convention in terms of not allowing the applicant’s lawyer to participate in the Supreme Court hearing.