The Council of Europe called for the removal of convictions from Azerbaijani activists

On June 10, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted two resolutions on Azerbaijan regarding the implementation of decisions of the Strasbourg Court on Journalists and Activists.

One of them is related to the decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on violations of the rights of investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova to respect for private life and reputation, as well as to freedom of expression, TUran was told in the press service  of the Council of Europe. 

The complaint was filed in connection with the threats and blackmail of the journalist, as well as the distribution of her intimate footage on the Internet. Materials about the “anti-government bias” of the journalist and her “immoral behavior” were distributed in the pro-government media.

The Azerbaijani authorities did not ensure an effective investigation of crimes against the journalist. 

The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe called on the authorities to immediately resume and ensure an effective investigation of the criminal offenses committed against Ismailova (we are talking about sending her a letter with threats, secret video filming of her private life and distribution of intimate videos) and bringing those responsible to justice.

In addition, the Committee of Ministers invited the authorities to take action on crimes against journalists to investigate the possible connection of these acts with their professional activities.

The Committee Minister obliged the Azerbaijani authorities to provide information on the measures taken at the meeting of the Committee of Ministers in December this year.

The second resolution concerns the case of the “Anar Mammadli group”, which contains the cases of 9 activists and journalists who were arrested in 2013-2016.

The ECHR found in their cases an abuse of the criminal law in order to punish them and silence them, recognizing in particular a violation of their rights in the aggregate under  the     Article 5 and 18.

 The talk is about the decisions of the ECtHR in the cases of Anar Mammadli, Intigam Aliyev, Khadija Ismayilova (2), Leyla and Arif Yunus, Bayram Mammadov (now deceased), Giyas Ibrahimli, Mammad Azizov and Shahin Novruzlu.

The Committee of Ministers, noting that compensation was paid to the applicants at the same time, points out that they have not received full rehabilitation and their criminal records have not been expunged.

In this regard, the Committee of Ministers called on the Azerbaijani authorities, taking into account already existing precedents, in particular in the case of politician Ilgar Mammadov, to cancel the convictions against these persons and cancel all negative legal consequences for them.

The government was asked to provide information on the measures taken by August 1, since in September the Committee of Ministers will return to the consideration of these cases.

Commenting on the resolutions of the Committee of Ministers, lawyer Khalid Agaliyev pointed out that the implementation of the decisions of the ECHR on Azerbaijan remains on the agenda of this structure.

Moreover, if earlier the government was given more time to take measures, now, in the case of the Anar Mammadli Group, time has been given only until August 1. This means that if there is no progress already in September, the Committee of Ministers will adopt a new resolution with more stringent requirements, the lawyer believes.

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