European Interest

MEPs call for the release of political prisoners in Azerbaijan

Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0 Author: Bayramov.zh
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On Thursday, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the human rights situation in Azerbaijan.

MEPs demand the “immediate and unconditional release” of Dr. Gubad Ibadoghlu, a prominent opposition figure, who was detained on 23 July 2023. They underline that the charges brought against him are politically motivated.

They call on the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, the European External Action Service (EEAS) and member states to “condemn the serious human rights violations and breaches of democracy in Azerbaijan, and to raise cases such as Gubad Ibadoghlu’s in all bilateral meetings as well as in the negotiations of a future partnership agreement.

The signing of such agreement should be conditional on the release of all political prisoners, MEPs add. The Parliament also calls for EU sanctions under the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime on Azerbaijani officials who have committed serious human rights violations.

Dr Ibadoghlu serves as Chairman of the Azerbaijan Democracy and Prosperity Movement that has been repeatedly prevented from registering as a political party. He remains in prison, faces a sentence of up to 12 years, and has reportedly been subject to inhumane treatment and suffers from serious health conditions.

The text was approved by 539 votes in favour, 6 against with 24 abstentions.

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