Back Council of Europe anti-torture Committee issues public statement on Azerbaijan

The Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) has issued a public statement on Azerbaijan today. This Statement, which is made in application of Article 10 (2) of the Convention establishing the Committee,[1] addresses the persistent lack of cooperation by the Azerbaijani authorities with the CPT.
Council of Europe anti-torture Committee issues public statement on Azerbaijan

The reason behind this exceptional decision to make a public statement is the outright refusal of the Azerbaijani authorities to cooperate with the CPT. The Committee made genuine attempts to engage in a constructive dialogue with the Azerbaijani authorities to address matters that lie at the heart of the CPT’s raison d’être. The CPT has detailed in its visit reports that it continues to receive allegations of severe acts of ill-treatment and even of torture by police officers. Yet, no action has been taken by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Azerbaijan to implement the Committee’s long-standing recommendations to end such practices. Further, the Committee received no responses to the letters from its President to promote dialogue through holding high-level talks in Baku or even following the notification of a visit to the Azerbaijani authorities. This represents a fundamental and unprecedented breach of the Convention.

Given the seriousness of the issues at stake, relating to ill-treatment and even torture by law enforcement officials of detained persons, the CPT has also decided to publish the report on the 2022 ad hoc visit to Azerbaijan as an annex to the public statement.

As is made clear in the public statement, the Committee hopes that the lack of cooperation does not lead to a permanent rupture in relations with the Azerbaijani authorities. The CPT stands ready to support the authorities to take decisive steps to uphold the fundamental values to which Azerbaijan, as a member state of the Council of Europe, has subscribed. In furtherance of its mandate, the Committee is fully committed to pursuing a dialogue with the Azerbaijani authorities to this end.



Interview with Hugh Chetwynd, Executive Secretary of the CPT:


[1] According to Article 10 (2) of the Convention, “If the Party fails to co-operate or refuses to improve the situation in the light of the Committee’s recommendations, the Committee may decide, after the Party has had an opportunity to make known its views, by a majority of two-thirds of its members to make a public statement on the matter.”


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