EU reiterates its call on Azerbaijan to release all those imprisoned for exercising their fundamental rights
May 29, 2024

EU reiterates its call on Azerbaijan to release all those imprisoned for exercising their fundamental rights

The European Union today reiterated its call on Azerbaijani authorities to release all those imprisoned for exercising their fundamental rights, and to ensure “dignified and safe conditions for detainees, including their full access to health and independent legal services”. 

The statement was made by EU Lead Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Peter Stano, following the signing by President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev of a decree pardoning 154 prisoners on 25 May. “This year, unlike in the past, the decree did not include persons sentenced for exercising their fundamental rights,” noted Stano.

“In recent months, there has been an unsettling rise of arrests of independent journalists, human rights defenders, and political activists on politically motivated charges. Members of independent media, such as Abzas Media, Toplum TV, Kanal 11 and Kanal 13, political movements, such as III Republic Platform, labour rights groups, and other organisations, such as the Institute for Democratic Initiatives, have been particularly targeted. Many of them have seen their pretrial detentions extended multiple times,” Stano said.

He added that the EU remains particularly concerned by the health situation of Gubad Ibadoghlu and Alasgar Mammadli: “We reiterate our call on the Azerbaijani authorities to lift Mr Ibadoghlu’s travel ban to allow him to get the medical treatment he urgently needs.” 

Peter Stano also reminded that civil society participation is at the centre of the UN Global Conference on Climate Change (COP 29), which Azerbaijan will host in November. 

“COP 29 is an opportunity for Azerbaijan to reaffirm its commitment to its obligations under international law, and to create the conditions for the work of a free and independent civil society,” Stano said.

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