The Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland, today informed the Committee of Ministers of his decision to withdraw the Council’s participation in the joint working group on human rights issues in Azerbaijan.
Since October 2014, a Council of Europe representative had been attending meetings in Baku intended to revive the dialogue between civil society and Azerbaijani authorities. Despite this initiative, the overall situation of human rights defenders in the country has deteriorated dramatically. An increasing number of human right defenders has recently been imprisoned, and the Council of Europe has received worrying reports about unacceptable detention conditions.
Prior to his intervention at the Committee of Ministers, the Secretary General had informed Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev of his decision.