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[Luxembourg 2005 Presidency of the Council of the European Union]
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CFSP Statement
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union on Azerbaijan

Date of release : 11-02-2005

Policy area : General Affairs and External Relations


The European Union wishes to express its concern following the conclusions of the OSCE report on trial monitoring in Azerbaijan, which was published on 4 February 2005. The report shows that in some important respects trials fell well short of Azerbaijan's existing legal requirements and its international commitments on human rights and rule of law.

Of particular concern are the extensive, credible allegations of torture and ill-treatment of detainees, the absence of adequate legal action or remedies in the face of these serious allegations and the acceptance by the courts of evidence said to have been obtained by torture and coercion.

The European Union calls on the Government of Azerbaijan to undertake a wide-ranging and independent inquiry into the allegations of torture and ill-treatment as soon as possible. It also calls for publication of the results of the investigation into the excessive use of force by the security forces during the post-election disturbances on 16 October 2003.

The European Union endorses the opinion set out in the OSCE report that persons who have been convicted or sentenced in trials which were not conducted properly should have their convictions cancelled or commuted and should be retried or released from custody.

The European Union is pleased that the Azerbaijani authorities are willing to continue their cooperation with the OSCE and urges them to follow the recommendations contained in the OSCE report on trial monitoring. The European Union is ready to assist Azerbaijan in implementing its legislation on the workings of the judicial system and its international commitments on human rights.

The Acceding Countries Bulgaria and Romania, the Candidate Country Croatia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, and the EFTA countries Iceland and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, align themselves with this declaration.

*          Croatia continues to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.



This page was last modified on : 07-03-2005

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