On 8 May, EU Ambassador Kestutis Jankauskas welcomed the decision of the Azerbaijani Bar Association to reinstate human rights lawyers Shahla Humbatova and Irada Javadova.
During a meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister Mahmud Mammad-Guliyev, the Head of the EU Delegation to Azerbaijan also expressed the expectation that the remaining cases of disbarred and suspended lawyers would also be reviewed. Jankauskas underlined that human rights lawyers are pillars of the rule of law and play a key role in protecting democratic values.
The meeting drew to a close the 9th EU-Azerbaijan Subcommittee on Justice, Freedom, Security and Human Rights and Democracy, held online on 26 and 27 April to review the latest developments in the field since the last meeting in March 2020, and to enable an open exchange of views on ongoing reforms, their implementation and future plans, including possibilities for EU support and cooperation in these areas.
In the aftermath of the war, the EU also highlighted the importance of accountability for any violation of international humanitarian law that must be thoroughly and impartially investigated. The EU also reiterated the importance of finalising the return of remaining Armenian servicemen in accordance with international humanitarian law and obligations undertaken by the parties. Also, as the return of IDPs remains a priority for Azerbaijan, an urgent demining is seen by the EU as a prerequisite for the safe return of people to the conflict affected territories.
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