Group of PACE deputies initiates resolution on growing number of political prisoners in Azerbaijan

Twenty PACE deputies proposed to adopt a resolution on “The increase in the number of political prisoners in Azerbaijan.”

“The growing persecution of journalists, human rights defenders and oppositionists in Azerbaijan, as well as the growing number of political prisoners is alarming,” the document signed by 20 parliamentarians from 13 countries says. The initiator was the deputy from Italy Maurizio Buccarella.

The document mentions the arrest of journalist Avaz Zeynally and human rights lawyer Elchin Sadygov. The authorities ignored the call of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatovic to immediately release Zeynally and Sadygov.

In mid-2022, blogger Abid Gafarov was imprisoned on trumped-up charges of libel. Three criminal cases were initiated against opposition leader Ali Aliyev on the same charge.

In May 2022, blogger Rashad Ramazanov was arrested on trumped-up charges.

“The Parliamentary Assembly should carefully consider and study the existing cases of political prisoners in Azerbaijan,” the document says.

The authors of the petition believe that the Assembly should call on the Azerbaijani government to comply with the European Convention on Human Rights and release all political prisoners.

It is not yet known when the draft resolution will be discussed in PACE.

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