Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 27 / Trend E.Ostapenko /
The co-rapporteurs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on Azerbaijan will pay the next four-day visit to Baku on Jan. 31, Rapporteur Joseph Debono Grech told Trend over the telephone.
During the visit, the co-rapporteurs will conduct monitoring of the situation after the parliamentary elections held in Azerbaijan in November and assess progress made towards the release of political prisoners, Grech said.
Joining the Council of Europe in 2001, Azerbaijan has undertaken a number of obligations, fulfillment of which is observed by the Monitoring Committee. Present co-rapporteurs are Malta's MP Joseph Debono Grech and Spain's Pedro Agramunt.
In December 2009, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree to pardon 89 prisoners, three of whom have been sentenced to imprisonment, and six to the penalty of a fine.
Some of them were included in the list of so-called political prisoners by the local human rights NGOs.
In 2010, Aliyev pardoned 71 prisoners; 15 people had been sentenced to imprisonment and five to the penalty of a fine.
The co-rapporteurs are scheduled to meet with all interested parties for an objective assessment of the situation after the parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan, Grech added.
They will meet with the president, the interior and foreign ministers, as well as the ombudsman and representatives of all political parties, including the opposition, he said.
The co-rapporteurs will hold a press conference on the last day of the visit.