Council of Europe anti-torture Committee holds high-level talks in Azerbaijan

Representatives of the Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) have recently returned from high-level talks in Baku, Azerbaijan.
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The objective of the talks, which took place on 16 and 17 February 2017, was to discuss the state of co-operation between the CPT and the Azerbaijani authorities and, in particular, the implementation of the CPT’s long-standing recommendations concerning law enforcement agencies, prisons, psychiatric hospitals and social care homes. The talks were also an opportunity to learn about other developments since the CPT’s last visit to Azerbaijan, in March-April 2016. In this context, the Azerbaijani authorities inter alia informed the CPT about the recent Executive Order by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, dated 10 February 2017, “On improvement of operation of the prison system, humanisation of criminal policies and extension of application of alternative sanctions and non-custodial preventive measures”.  

The CPT’s representatives were Mykola GNATOVSKYY (President of the CPT) and Maïté DE RUE (expert, Deputy to the Prosecutor General, Belgium, former CPT member and 1st Vice-President), accompanied by Borys WÓDZ (Head of Division at the CPT’s Secretariat).

They met Ramil USUBOV, Minister of Internal Affairs, Fikrat MAMMADOV, Minister of Justice, Ogtay SHIRALIYEV, Minister of Health, Salim MUSLUMOV, Minister of Labour and Social Protection of Population, Madat GULIYEV, Chief of the State Security Service, and Rustam USUBOV, First Deputy Prosecutor General. Further, a meeting was held with Fuad ALESKEROV, Head of Department for Work with Law Enforcement Bodies of the Administration of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. All the above-mentioned meetings were also attended by senior officials from the respective Ministries and other bodies.