STRASBOURG – The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe voted 76 to 10 with 4 abstentions to reject the ratifications of the credentials of the Azerbaijani delegation, citing a failure to fulfil “major commitments” after 20 years in the Council of Europe, and a lack of co-operation.
In a report presented by Mogens Jensen (Denmark), the Monitoring Committee deplores that more than 20 years after joining the Council of Europe, Azerbaijan has not fulfilled major commitments stemming from its membership in the Organization. Very serious concerns remain as to its ability to conduct free and fair elections, the separation of powers, the weakness of its legislature vis-à-vis the executive, the independence of the judiciary and respect for human rights, as illustrated by numerous judgments of the European Court of Human Rights and opinions of the Venice Commission. It is also concerned about the reported cases of “political prisoners” and the increased number of violations of freedom of expression, illustrated namely by recent arrests of independent journalists from Abzas media outlet.
As regards the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, the committee recalls Resolution 2508 (2023) condemning the blockade of the Lachin corridor and Resolution 2517 (2023) condemning the Azerbaijani army’s military operation of September 2023, which led to the flight of the entire Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia.
The committee also deplores cases of “lack of co-operation in the Assembly’s monitoring procedure” in the meaning of Rule 8.2.b of the Rules of the Assembly, in particular lack of invitation to observe the forthcoming presidential election, and cases of lack of co-operation with Assembly’s rapporteurs.