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Council of Europe Anti-Racism Commission to prepare report on Azerbaijan

Strasbourg, 05.10.2010 - A delegation of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) visited Azerbaijan from 27 September to 1 October 2010 as the first step in the preparation of a monitoring report. During its visit, ECRIs delegation gathered information on the implementation of the recommendations it made to the authorities in its previous report of 2007 and discussed new issues that have emerged since.

The delegation held meetings in Baku and Lenkoran with representatives of all relevant ministries, public officials, human rights NGOs and minority groups.

Following this visit, ECRI will adopt a report in which it will make a fresh set of recommendations on measures to be taken by the authorities to address racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, antisemitism and intolerance in the country. Among these, three will be revisited two years after the publication of the report as part of an interim follow-up procedure.

In its 2007 report, ECRI expressed concern that cases of racist and inflammatory speech against various minority groups or the promotion of religious intolerance by some media, politicians and members of the general public continued to occur. It also found that the unsolved conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh had a negative impact on the climate concerning Armenians.

In the same report, ECRI expressed concern over allegations of cases of harassment by law enforcement and other officials against members of some minority groups, as well as difficulties experienced by some categories of non-citizens in obtaining legal status. It also noted a lack of awareness on the part of the Azerbaijani population with respect to racism and intolerance in Azerbaijan and of the legal provisions designed to combat such phenomena.

ECRI is a human rights body of the Council of Europe, composed of independent experts, which monitors problems of racism and intolerance, prepares reports and issues recommendations to member states. For more information on ECRI: www.coe.int/ecri

Link to 2007 ECRI report on Azerbaijan

Press contact: Stefano Valenti, Tel: +33 (0)3 90 21 43 28, stefano.valenti@coe.int
Council of Europe Directorate of Communication
Tel: +33 (0)3 88 41 25 60
Fax:+33 (0)3 88 41 39 11
pressunit@coe.int

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