The government of Azerbaijan must comply with international demands and immediately set free prominent opposition leader, Ilgar Mammadov, after the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe made a second call demanding his release, said Amnesty International. He was sentenced to seven years in jail on trumped up, politically-motivated charges more than a year ago.
The Azerbaijani authorities have ignored several requests for Mammadov’s release by the Council of Europe following a European Court of Human Rights ruling that he had been arrested without any evidence and that the actual purpose of his detention had been to silence or punish him for criticising the government.
“President Ilham Aliyev had the audacity to stand before the Council of Europe last year and declare that freedom of expression, association and assembly are assured in Azerbaijan. These have proven to be empty words as his government has continued to openly defy the European Court of Human Rights by refusing to release Ilgar Mammadov,” said Denis Krivosheev, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director of Europe and Central Asia Programme.