Arminfo.info





 Friday, July 12 2019 21:02
Ani Mshetsyan

CoE Commissioner: Freedom of expression in Azerbaijan continues to be  under threat

CoE Commissioner: Freedom of expression in Azerbaijan continues to be  under threat

ArmInfo."Freedom of expression in Azerbaijan continues to be under threat" said Dunja Mijatovic, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, at the end of a  four-day visit to Azerbaijan, contact.az informs.

Recalling the European Court of Human Rights" judgments stressing a  troubling pattern of arbitrary arrest and detention of government  critics, civil society activists and human rights defenders through  retaliatory prosecutions and misuse of criminal law in defiance of  the rule of law, the Commissioner highlighted that "releasing all  persons who are in detention because of the views they expressed  should remain a priority." She also reiterated her call to  decriminalise defamation.

In addition, the Commissioner raised with the authorities the issue  of travel bans imposed on journalists, lawyers, political activists  and human rights defenders, some of which have been found in  violation of the European Convention on Human Rights. "The  authorities should refrain from resorting to the disproportionate  practice of imposing travel bans arbitrarily and lift immediately  those which are in contradiction with the right to leave the  country."

Another focus of the Commissioner"s visit was the situation of  lawyers in Azerbaijan. The Commissioner noted that Azerbaijan has the  lowest number of lawyers per 100 000 inhabitants in the Council of  Europe area. This undermines access to justice, especially in rural  areas where the number of lawyers is very low.

The Commissioner was informed of the Presidential Decree of 3 April  2019 providing for legislative, institutional and practical reforms  in the justice system, which should lead to an improved access to  justice.  "In addition to these reforms, the government should step  up its efforts to address effectively the shortage of lawyers in the  country, in particular in the regions, including by ensuring that  admission to the Bar Association is based on a transparent  qualification process and objective criteria" she pointed out.

Stressing that the freedom of expression of lawyers is related to the  independence of the legal profession, the Commissioner noted with  concern a number of interferences with lawyers" freedom of  expression, including through the opening of disciplinary  proceedings.  "Lawyers should comply with ethical standards and be  able to engage in professional activities without fear of  retaliation" the Commissioner said.

The Commissioner also looked at the situation of internally displaced  persons (IDPs). Azerbaijan has a significant population of IDPs as a  consequence of the unresolved conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh region  and the seven adjacent districts. The Commissioner commends important  steps taken by the authorities to address human rights issues of  IDPs, notably by providing durable housing. While in Baku, the  Commissioner visited a newly constructed settlement in the Sabunchu  district, as well as the old dormitories of the Technical University  in the Yasamal district, where she could talk to a number of IDPs:   "many people have expressed their wish to return to their homes;  however, in the meantime it is important to ensure that livelihood  opportunities are provided."

In this regard, the Commissioner wishes to reiterate the importance  of finally reaching a peaceful settlement of the unresolved conflict  in and around the Nagorno-Karabakh region, so that those IDPs who  wish to return there may do so on a voluntary basis, in safety and  dignity.  During her visit from 9 to 12 July, the Commissioner met  with the authorities, including the Minister of Foreign Affairs,  Elmar Mammadyarov, the Minister of Justice, Fikrat Mammadov, the  Minister of Internal Affairs, Vilayat Eyvazov, the Head of the  Department of Foreign Policy Affairs in the Presidential  Administration, Hikmat Hajiyev, the Prosecutor General, Zakir  Garalov, the President of the Supreme Court, Ramiz Rzayev, and the  Chairman of the State Committee for Affairs of Refugees and IDPs,  Rovshan Rzayev. Other interlocutors included the Ombudsperson, Elmira  Suleymanova, representatives of civil society, lawyers, as well as  the Chair and members of the Bar Association.

The Commissioner also went to prisons where she met with the  journalists Seymur Hazi and Afgan Mukhtarli. The Commissioner would  like to express her appreciation for the fact that the visits have  been facilitated by the Azerbaijani authorities.

The Commissioner's report on her visit to Azerbaijan is forthcoming. 


News
Pompeo will hold talks with Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan and  Armenia on October 23Pompeo will hold talks with Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan and  Armenia on October 23
Robert Kocharyan: The experience of the presidents is important both  for the negotiation process and for ensuring victoriesRobert Kocharyan: The experience of the presidents is important both  for the negotiation process and for ensuring victories
Artsrun Hovhannisyan: Small enemy groups are neutralized in the  southern directionArtsrun Hovhannisyan: Small enemy groups are neutralized in the  southern direction
Mike Pompeo urged third countries not to interfere in Karabakh  conflictMike Pompeo urged third countries not to interfere in Karabakh  conflict
Nikol Pashinyan spoke about six steps to be taken to achieve victory  in the Artsakh warNikol Pashinyan spoke about six steps to be taken to achieve victory  in the Artsakh war
Azerbaijani Armed Forces use Czech 152-mm self-propelled artillery  mounts DANA against ArtsakhAzerbaijani Armed Forces use Czech 152-mm self-propelled artillery  mounts DANA against Artsakh
RA President: Peace in Karabakh is achievable if Turkey stops  interferingRA President: Peace in Karabakh is achievable if Turkey stops  interfering
Arayik Harutyunyan: Headquarters will be established in Yerevan to  deal with social problems of Artsakh citizensArayik Harutyunyan: Headquarters will be established in Yerevan to  deal with social problems of Artsakh citizens
President of European Council discussed with Sarkissian ceasefire in  Karabakh   Yerevan, October 21President of European Council discussed with Sarkissian ceasefire in  Karabakh  Yerevan, October 21
By e decision of RA government, a temporary ban was imposed on import  of goods of Turkish origin By e decision of RA government, a temporary ban was imposed on import  of goods of Turkish origin 
Mnatsakanyan at meeting with Lavrov pointed to the priority of  establishing a  stable ceasefire controlled by verification mechanismMnatsakanyan at meeting with Lavrov pointed to the priority of  establishing a  stable ceasefire controlled by verification mechanism
RA Prime Minister: Our actions are: to fight to the death RA Prime Minister: Our actions are: to fight to the death 
Iran`s Air Defense units launched a large-scale military exerciseIran`s Air Defense units launched a large-scale military exercise
MFA of Russia told about Lavrov`s negotiations with Mnatsakanyan and  BayramovMFA of Russia told about Lavrov`s negotiations with Mnatsakanyan and  Bayramov
Prime Minister: The countries of the region should take seriously the  fact of the transfer by Turkey of mercenaries from Syria to the region of the Karabakh conflictPrime Minister: The countries of the region should take seriously the  fact of the transfer by Turkey of mercenaries from Syria to the region of the Karabakh conflict
Political scientist: Baku should try not to kill, but to talk with  Artsakh peoplePolitical scientist: Baku should try not to kill, but to talk with  Artsakh people
During days of hostilities, losses of enemy  in manpower amounted to  6459 peopleDuring days of hostilities, losses of enemy  in manpower amounted to  6459 people
Serzh Sargsyan: Direct negotiations with Alev are a mistake, as  Azerbaijan will never agree to the recognition of Karabakh`s  independenceSerzh Sargsyan: Direct negotiations with Alev are a mistake, as  Azerbaijan will never agree to the recognition of Karabakh`s  independence
Bright Armenia: Russia from the first day of the war has done and  continues to do a lot to resolve the conflictBright Armenia: Russia from the first day of the war has done and  continues to do a lot to resolve the conflict
Forecast: Only the United States and Russia can calm down the raging  ErdoganForecast: Only the United States and Russia can calm down the raging  Erdogan
Beeline has reset the tariff for its subscribers roaming in the  Republic of ArtsakhBeeline has reset the tariff for its subscribers roaming in the  Republic of Artsakh
Davtyan: RA Armed Forces Air Defense Destroyed Enemy Drone Sent to  SyunikDavtyan: RA Armed Forces Air Defense Destroyed Enemy Drone Sent to  Syunik
In Yerevan, in front of the German Embassy in Armenia, an action is  being held demanding the recognition of ArtsakhIn Yerevan, in front of the German Embassy in Armenia, an action is  being held demanding the recognition of Artsakh
Mnatsakanyan to meet with Lavrov in MoscowMnatsakanyan to meet with Lavrov in Moscow
Armenian President goes to Brussels to meet with NATO and EU leadersArmenian President goes to Brussels to meet with NATO and EU leaders
Armenian Assembly of America calls on American companies to abandon  lobbying activities in favor of AzerbaijanArmenian Assembly of America calls on American companies to abandon  lobbying activities in favor of Azerbaijan
Congressman: USA can play a decisive role in ending bloodshed in  ArtsakhCongressman: USA can play a decisive role in ending bloodshed in  Artsakh
Vladimir Spivakov donated his fee for the upcoming concert to the  Fund to Aid the Children of ArtsakhVladimir Spivakov donated his fee for the upcoming concert to the  Fund to Aid the Children of Artsakh
"Preventive diplomacy is an integral part of  Turkmenistan`s neutrality" - President of Turkmenistan
Medvedev is concerned about the activities of the United States in  biological laboratories in the CISMedvedev is concerned about the activities of the United States in  biological laboratories in the CIS
Greece calls on the European Commission to suspend the agreement on  customs union between Turkey and the EUGreece calls on the European Commission to suspend the agreement on  customs union between Turkey and the EU
Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with Emmanuel MacronVladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with Emmanuel Macron
Armenian Defense Ministry denies Azerbaijan`s statement of strikes on  Goranboy and Terter regionsArmenian Defense Ministry denies Azerbaijan`s statement of strikes on  Goranboy and Terter regions
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister and German Ambassador discussed  KarabakhRussian Deputy Foreign Minister and German Ambassador discussed  Karabakh
Azerbaijan uses prohibited weapons against the civilian population of  ArtsakhAzerbaijan uses prohibited weapons against the civilian population of  Artsakh
Armenian Diocese of Canada raised over $ 300 thousand for needs of  Artsakh and ArmeniaArmenian Diocese of Canada raised over $ 300 thousand for needs of  Artsakh and Armenia
A drone from Nagorno-Karabakh conflict collapsed in northwestern IranA drone from Nagorno-Karabakh conflict collapsed in northwestern Iran
AURORA`S MAIN EVENT IN NYC HELD SUCCESSFULLY DESPITE CYBER ATTACKSAURORA`S MAIN EVENT IN NYC HELD SUCCESSFULLY DESPITE CYBER ATTACKS
Yerevan and London discussed  situation in Karabakh conflict zoneYerevan and London discussed  situation in Karabakh conflict zone
Armenian Defense Ministry: The enemy retreats, in the southern  direction, Khudaferin Reservoir, suffering heavy lossesArmenian Defense Ministry: The enemy retreats, in the southern  direction, Khudaferin Reservoir, suffering heavy losses
Artsakh President: The heaviest battles are fought on the territory  of Ishkhanadzor, Kovsakan and Mijnavan communities of the Kashatagh  region of KarabakhArtsakh President: The heaviest battles are fought on the territory  of Ishkhanadzor, Kovsakan and Mijnavan communities of the Kashatagh  region of Karabakh
Shavarsh Kocharyan: In the 1990s, the situation in Armenia and  Artsakh was much more difficult, now everything is decided on the  battlefieldShavarsh Kocharyan: In the 1990s, the situation in Armenia and  Artsakh was much more difficult, now everything is decided on the  battlefield
Armenian President expressed his gratitude to Canada for suspending  Turkey`s export permits for acquisition of military gearArmenian President expressed his gratitude to Canada for suspending  Turkey`s export permits for acquisition of military gear
Chairman of Chamber of Advocates of Armenia stated that he is against  any deal on the transfer of territories in exchange for a ceasefireChairman of Chamber of Advocates of Armenia stated that he is against  any deal on the transfer of territories in exchange for a ceasefire
Arman Tatoyan: Azerbaijan is responsible for shelling journalistsArman Tatoyan: Azerbaijan is responsible for shelling journalists
Pashinyan discussed situation in Karabakh with Arkadi Ghukasyan and  Bako SahakyanPashinyan discussed situation in Karabakh with Arkadi Ghukasyan and  Bako Sahakyan
Ombudsman said that Azerbaijan is pursuing a policy of ethnic  cleansing against citizens of Armenia and ArtsakhOmbudsman said that Azerbaijan is pursuing a policy of ethnic  cleansing against citizens of Armenia and Artsakh
Turkey is already considers itself entitled to dictate to  international players with whom and how to interactTurkey is already considers itself entitled to dictate to  international players with whom and how to interact
Khatibzadeh: Iran does not accept beheadings or attacks on cities and  innocent peopleKhatibzadeh: Iran does not accept beheadings or attacks on cities and  innocent people
Expert: Ankara`s interest in Azerbaijani aggression against Artsakh  is determined by geopoliticsExpert: Ankara`s interest in Azerbaijani aggression against Artsakh  is determined by geopolitics
Leader of ``Forward Italy`` faction called on the international  community to make clear efforts to prevent attacks on ArmeniaLeader of ``Forward Italy`` faction called on the international  community to make clear efforts to prevent attacks on Armenia
Armenian President calls on OSCE Minsk Group to get rid of Turkey`s  involvement in Karabakh conflictArmenian President calls on OSCE Minsk Group to get rid of Turkey`s  involvement in Karabakh conflict
Aliyev spoke about the role of Russia in the Karabakh issue, the  prospects for the deployment of peacekeepers and the introduction of  verification mechanismsAliyev spoke about the role of Russia in the Karabakh issue, the  prospects for the deployment of peacekeepers and the introduction of  verification mechanisms
An extraordinary meeting of the Security Council of Armenia was held  under Pashinyan`s chairmanship An extraordinary meeting of the Security Council of Armenia was held  under Pashinyan`s chairmanship 
Armen Sarkissian: Ankara`s actions in the Caucasus could also pose a  threat to the EUArmen Sarkissian: Ankara`s actions in the Caucasus could also pose a  threat to the EU
Civil Aviation Committee:The humanitarian aid from the US delivered to ArmeniaCivil Aviation Committee:The humanitarian aid from the US delivered to Armenia
Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Estonia discussed  situation in  KarabakhForeign Ministers of Armenia and Estonia discussed  situation in  Karabakh
Lavrov indicated where to look for answers to questions on the  Karabakh settlementLavrov indicated where to look for answers to questions on the  Karabakh settlement
Participants of  Participants of  "Don t be silent!" action met with UN Resident  Coordinator in Armenia
Yerevan denies Baku`s statement of an alleged attempt by Armenian  forces to strike the oil pipelineYerevan denies Baku`s statement of an alleged attempt by Armenian  forces to strike the oil pipeline
Read more



Commented