PACE PRESIDENT SAYS ARREST OF JOURNALISTS IN EUROPE COUNCIL MEMBER STATES UNACCEPTABLE

July 2nd, 2008
Today (2 July) Parliament of Assembly of Council of Europe (PACE) President Lluís Maria de Puig conducted a briefing for journalists in Azerbaijan’s office of Council of Europe.


To a question from the journalists about the imprisonment of journalists in Azerbaijan, Lluís Maria de Puig stated that the imprisonment of journalists in Council of Europe member states is unacceptable. He mentioned that the immediate release of the journalists and other political prisoners was demanded in a resolution adopted by PACE about Azerbaijan.  
The PACE president emphasized that a special co-rapporteur might be appointed in September if Azerbaijani government doesn’t demonstrate determination on political prisoners. “Azerbaijan could face serious sanctions if it doesn’t integrate into standards of human rights and democracy and if it doesn’t fulfill its commitments,” he said.
When asked about the decision to forcefully bring “Azadlig” newspaper correspondent Agil Khalil to court, Puig said he wasn’t familiar with the details of the matter.  
Lluís Maria de Puig noted that he hopes his visit to Azerbaijan will be effective.