The PACE co-rapporteur for Azerbaijan, Andreas Herkel, informed Trend that the final discussions with the Government of Azerbaijan on the report of the PACE co-rapporteurs will be held at the end of March in Paris.
He said that till that time, the Government of Azerbaijan has enough time to get familiarized with the report, and in spring the report will be discussed with the concluding remarks of the Azerbaijan Government.
Touching upon the meeting of the PACE Permanent Committee, which will take place within the winter session of the PACE (January 22-26), Herkel said that the initial variant of the report will be discussed during this meeting again. He underlined that the co-rapporteur, Tony Lloyd, and the Head of Azerbaijan's delegation to the PACE, Samad Seydov, did not participate in the first reading of the report in Paris last year.
Therefore, it was decided to discuss the initial variant of the report again at the meeting which will take place within the winter session of the PACE, after which the document will be submitted to the spring session of the PACE.
As regards to the remaining elements of the report, Herkel highlighted the situation with the human rights in Azerbaijan. As one of the disputable questions, he called the detention of the journalists of the newspapers and closing of ANS, and named it as a moment causing difference of opinion between the co-rapporteurs and Government of Azerbaijan. In addition, Herkel mentioned the issue of the political prisoners and problem with the function of the justice system (courts, lack of advocates and fully qualified judges). He said that the Justice Ministry of Azerbaijan makes efforts to change the situation and the Council of Europe tries to organize projects for the improvements in this system.