PACE welcomes pardoning prisoners in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan, Baku, January 5 / Trend , E.Ostapenko /
Co-rapporteurs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) for Azerbaijan today welcomed the decision by Azerbaijan President
Ilham Aliyev on 25 December 2009 to pardon 99 prisoners, PACE official statement says. Andres Herkel (Estonia, EPP/CD) and Joseph Debono Grech (Malta, SOC), co-rapporteurs for the monitoring of Azerbaijan, and Christoph Strässer (Germany, SOC) disseminated the statement on Jan. 5.
"The Assembly has stressed many times that there can be no political prisoners in
Council of Europe member states," the rapporteurs said. They trust that Azerbaijan will further progress in fulfilling a key commitment taken when joining the Council of Europe.
The decree to pardon a number of persons in custody was signed by President Ilham Aliyev on December 25, 2009. The decree pardoned 89 persons from the prisoners sentenced to imprisonment, three - sentenced to limited freedom, six - sentenced to punishment in form of fine.
Some of these prisoners are on the lists of alleged political prisoners of local human rights NGO's. The pardoning decree also includes opposition
Bizim Yol newspaper correspondent Mushvig Huseynov, who has been mentioned in PACE reports.