UN Human Rights Body Stops Azerbaijan Visit Citing Official Obstruction

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BAKU—The United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) has decided to suspend its visit to Azerbaijan due to obstructions it encountered in carrying out its mandate under the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT), to which Azerbaijan is a party.

The delegation was prevented from visiting several places where people are detained and was barred from completing its work at other sites, despite repeated attempts to do so and assurances of unrestricted access to all places of deprivation of liberty by Azerbaijani authorities.

As a result of these serious breaches of Azerbaijan’s obligations under the Optional Protocol, the delegation concluded that the integrity of its visit, scheduled to run from Sept. 8 to 17, had been compromised to such an extent that it had to be suspended.

The delegation members halted their work on Sept. 14, but some members remained in Azerbaijan to seek further engagement with the Azerbaijani authorities on the basis of the information currently at their disposal. The head of the delegation, Aisha Shujune Muhammad, met the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs on Sept. 16.

The SPT expects Azerbaijan to abide by its international obligations under the Optional Protocol and enter into a constructive dialogue with the SPT with the view to preventing torture and ill-treatment.

The SPT has a mandate under the OPCAT to conduct on-site visits and make recommendations to the authorities of State Parties to establish effective safeguards against the risk of torture and ill-treatment in places of deprivation of liberty.

The SPT Delegation to the Republic of Azerbaijan comprises the following members: Ms. Aisha Shujune Muhammad (Head of Delegation), Mr. Milos Jankovic, Ms. Margarete Suzuko Osterfeld, Mr. Miguel Sarre-Iguiniz, and Mr. Victor Zaharia (Focal Point for Reprisals).

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3 Comments

  1. Armenian said:

    Further proof that the less democratic and more authoritarian regimes are, all peoples, both within the country at hand and those who border it, are less safe. The Caucasus will begin to prosper once the leaders as well as the people of all of those countries understand what it means to embrace democracy and reject the KGB style of governance that has resurrected in Russia, and consequently, countries within its orbit.

  2. Zareh said:

    As long as the oil is flowing to the west these are just theatrics and inconsequential. Money talks and bs walks.

  3. edward demian said:

    Good going Azerbaijian. Pretty soon you’ll be famous like South Africa during apartheid.

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