Azerbaijan, Baku /corr. Trend E.Huseynov / Andreas Herkel, PACE rapporteur of the Monitoring Committee for Azerbaijan, informed on 28 June by telephone from Strasburg, that the situation with the media in Azerbaijan may be considered at the next autumn session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).
The issue of the situation of media in Azerbaijan had to be considered on 28 June in Strasburg at the meeting of the Monitoring Committee. However, according to Herkel, due to the discussion of more important issue - discussions on adoption of a declaration with regards to Russia and the lack of time, it was decided to postpone the discussions to the next sessions. "It is better to postpone the issue to autumn than to discuss it within two minutes," Herkel said.
Within the present session of the Parliamentary Assembly in Strasburg, consultations took place between the co-rapporteurs and representatives of civil society and human rights organizations of Azerbaijan. The consultations focused on the situation in the country. According to Herkel, the absence of the opposition parliamentarians in the Azerbaijani delegation to PACE makes it necessary to meet with NGO representatives. "They have presented a number of letters which contain very important information, including the worsening health of three prisoners, the former high-ranking military man Rasim Akperov, the ex-Minister of Economic Development, Farhad Aliyev, and the ex-Minister of Health, Ali Insanov," Herkel said.
Touching upon the proposals of the NGOs to hold special hearings in autumn regarding the situation in Azerbaijan, Herkel said that this issue may be raised only by the official Parliamentary mission of Azerbaijan.
Touching upon the forthcoming July visit of PACE President, Rene ven der Linden, to the South Caucasus, Herkel said that the co-rapporteurs will not accompany Linden during his visit. In addition, the date of the next visit of the co-rapporteurs to Azerbaijan has not yet been confirmed. "Despite that we visited Azerbaijan at the beginning of the year, and we are well aware of the situation there," he said.