Azerbaijan wants extra freedom of speech, extra attorneys and extra jobs for refugees – Council of Europe

The Commissioner with youngsters in an IDP settlement within the previous dormitories of the Technical College within the Yasamal district in Baku, Azerbaijan

“Freedom of expression in Azerbaijan continues to be below risk” mentioned Dunja Mijatović, Commissioner for Human Rights, on the finish of a four-day go to to Azerbaijan. Recalling the European Courtroom of Human Rights’ judgments stressing a troubling sample of arbitrary arrest and detention of presidency critics, civil society activists and human rights defenders by way of retaliatory prosecutions and misuse of felony regulation in defiance of the rule of regulation, the Commissioner highlighted that “releasing all individuals who’re in detention due to the views they expressed ought to stay a precedence.” She additionally reiterated her name to decriminalise defamation.

As well as, the Commissioner raised with the authorities the difficulty of journey bans imposed on journalists, attorneys, political activists and human rights defenders, a few of which have been present in violation of the European Conference on Human Rights. “The authorities ought to chorus from resorting to the disproportionate apply of imposing journey bans arbitrarily and carry instantly these that are in contradiction with the best to go away the nation.”

One other focus of the Commissioner’s go to was the state of affairs of attorneys in Azerbaijan. The Commissioner famous that Azerbaijan has the bottom variety of attorneys per 100 000 inhabitants within the Council of Europe space. This undermines entry to justice, particularly in rural areas the place the variety of attorneys may be very low.

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