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Rejection of the draft resolution on Christoph Strasser’s report on political prisoners in Azerbaijan, is not a failure, said a group of human rights defenders at a press conference in IRFS Media Centre on January 29.
The event was co-organized by the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety and Human Rights House, a structure of Norwegian Human Rights House Foundation. IRFS chairman Emin Huseynov said that the question of political prisoners was also reflected in the report of Argamunt and Grekh. As for the reasons for rejection of Strasser’s report, Huseynov noted that main reason was lobbying activity of the Azerbaijani authorities and pro-government organizations who attended the PACE session. However, this does not mean that the issue of political prisoners is closed. Human rights activists will seek reappointment of special rapporteur on political prisoners in Azerbaijan, or another functionary responsible for the situation with political prisoners.”The duty of civil society is to continue working in this direction,” Huseynov said. Director of Media Rights Institute Rashid Hajili, who called in to join the discussion, noted that the simultaneous discussion of two reports affected the overall situation. Thus, the adopted resolution on the first report stated absence of favorable conditions for political opposition in Azerbaijan, absence of independent courts, and presence of people arrested for political reasons. According to Human Rights House representative Shahla Ismayil the organization, which she represents, is concerned with what is happening in Azerbaijan. She noted that the Human Rights House Foundation issued a press release on results of the discussions in the Council of Europe and the rejection of the Resolution on Strasser’s report.