Azerbaijan: Statement by the Spokesperson on the human rights situation

EEAS Press Team

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev signed on Saturday 25 May a decree pardoning 154 prisoners. This year, unlike in the past, the decree did not include persons sentenced for exercising their fundamental rights.

In recent months, there has been an unsettling rise of arrests of independent journalists, human rights defenders, and political activists on politically motivated charges. Members of independent media, such as Abzas MediaToplum TVKanal 11 and Kanal 13, political movements, such as III Republic Platform, labour rights groups, and other organisations, such the Institute for Democratic Initiatives, have been particularly targeted. Many of them have seen their pre-trial detentions extended multiple times.

The European Union continues to call on Azerbaijan to release all those imprisoned for exercising their fundamental rights, and to ensure dignified and safe conditions for detainees, including their full access to health and independent legal services. We remain particularly concerned by the health situation of Gubad Ibadoghlu and Alasgar Mammadli. We reiterate our call on the Azerbaijani authorities to lift Mr Ibadoghlu’s travel ban to allow him to get the medical treatment he urgently needs.

Civil society participation is at the centre of the UN Global Conference on Climate Change (COP 29), which Azerbaijan will host in November. COP 29 is an opportunity for Azerbaijan to reaffirm its commitment to its obligations under international law, and to create the conditions for the work of a free and independent civil society. This is also in line with Azerbaijan’s commitments as a member of the Eastern Partnership, as reiterated in the Eastern Partnership Summit Declaration of December 2021.

The European Union is committed to continuing its dialogue with Azerbaijan on all key areas of our cooperation, including human rights and the rule of law for the benefit of all people in Azerbaijan. 

Peter Stano
Lead Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
+32 (0)460 75 45 53
Press Officer for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
+32 (0)2 291 38 76
+32 (0)460 76 14 96