[:en]“After quarantine, reports of international organizations on the human rights situation in Azerbaijan will be critical,” stated the speaker of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on political prisoners in Azerbaijan, Sunna Evarsdottir in an interview with the Azerbaijani service “Radio Liberty”.
“Azerbaijan, like other countries, is now in quarantine, and it is difficult to obtain confirmation of the events taking place there. However, this will not always be the case,” she said.
After the pandemic, it will be revealed how authoritarian authorities abused quarantine measures for political purposes, she said, noting that repression against critical voices in the country continues. So, during the quarantine period in Azerbaijan, about 15 opposition activists and journalists were arrested.
“I am concerned that the Popular Front Party leader Ali Karimli is de facto under house arrest. We are also concerned that his phones and internet are blocked. We are closely monitoring the situation,” said the PACE representative. According to her, PACE co-rapporteurs in Azerbaijan are well aware of the situation.
“The Council of Europe is aware of this and is following what is happening,” said Evarsdottir, emphasizing the need to release all political prisoners. Keeping prisoners in close conditions during a pandemic is unacceptable. Living in a safe environment is a fundamental right of all prisoners, she said.