Reacting to the decision today of the Baku Court of Appeal to maintain in detention two human rights activists, Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland made the following statement:
"I am concerned by the recent events in Azerbaijan and the heavy-handed response of the police to protests. I am particularly disturbed by the arrest on 4 February of Tofig Yagublu and Ilgar Mammadov, in relation to recent events in Ismayilli.
Mr Mammadov is the Director of the Baku School of Political Studies, a close co-operation partner of the Council of Europe. Today's decision of the Baku Court of Appeal not to release these two men and its refusal to allow the Council of Europe's representative to be present during the Court proceedings is of particular gravity.
I call on the authorities of Azerbaijan to respect the fundamental principles and legally-binding standards of the European Convention of Human Rights, which they have undertaken to uphold when joining the Council of Europe."