The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has condemned “the crackdown on human rights in Azerbaijan” and called for an end to the “systemic repression” of human rights defenders, the media and those critical of the government, including politically motivated prosecutions. In a resolution supported by all the political factions in the Assembly it called on the Azerbaijan authorities to release all political prisoners, including those who in the past co-operated with the Council of Europe. After a vote the resolution was approved with 140 votes in favour, 13 against and 8 abstentions.
The resolution on “the functioning of democratic institutions in Azerbaijan” is based on a report by Pedro Agramunt (Spain, EPP/CD) and Tadeusz Iwinski (Poland, SOC) who are the current rapporteurs on Azerbaijan. The resolution also welcomed the reduction of corruption levels in Azerbaijan, especially due to the network of public service halls known as ASAN centres, and recent legal changes to the judiciary.
The parliamentarians made a series of recommendations to the authorities of Azerbaijan as part of the Assembly’s ongoing monitoring of the country – including steps to reinforce democratic “checks and balances” in the system, ensure a fairer electoral framework, and further boost judicial independence.
You can read the resolution in full and look how the parliamentarians from each country voted here
source: commonspace.eu with the Press Service of PACE
In this op-ed Dennis Sammut discusses two competing narratives emerging in Brussels and Ankara. Often blurred and episodical, they need to be challenged where necessary