EMDS submitted the midterm review report on the level of implementation of UPR recommendations by Azerbaijan

tərəfindən Gozetci

Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Center – NGO from Azerbaijan focusing on strengthening civil society and educating human rights among others has submitted Mid-term review report on the level of implementation of recommendations received and supported by Azerbaijan in UPR 2018 processes regarding the freedom of peaceful assembly and association and right to participate in public affairs.  Azerbaijan received and supported 4 recommendations accordingly. These set of rights are well-known cornerstones for democratic societies and well-recognized by respected international human rights documents such as Universal Declaration on Human Rights, European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights among others.

The mid-term review submission by Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Center analyses to which extent the recommendations Azerbaijan received and supported are implemented in between the UPR cycles three and four. Overall, the submission demonstrates that Azerbaijan has failed to adequately implement the recommendations it received and supported regarding the freedom of assembly and association and right to participate in the public affairs. Restrictive NGO legislation, constant disallowance and dispersal of peaceful meetings and irregularities in held elections alongside lack of will to adequately amend the Election Code in line with international standards and recommendations have been the main reasons. The midterm report concludes that a number of insignificant changes into the law failed to solve the problematic patterns on the protection of human rights in question and bring the domestic legislation in line with international obligations and UPR recommendations.

Considering the situation regarding the recommendations from UPR 2018 as stated above, EMDS recommends the following:

– The law on freedom of peaceful assembly and association must be amended to bring it in line with international legislation by, among others, eliminating unnecessary restrictions on the work of NGOs and the organization of peaceful events.

– Election Code should be amended to improve the situation of handling of post-election complaints, the composition of election commissions and electronic solutions should be introduced into the election system to ease the technical matters such as nomination, registration etc.

– Current laws and practices should be revised and changed to deprive the authorities of deciding on the fate of receipt of grants and more specific measures should be introduced for ground on which peaceful events can be disallowed

– Azerbaijani authorities should effectively address the lack of independence in the judiciary that enables and condones arbitrary arrests and prosecutions; to end the politically motivated prosecution of members of civil society and all arbitrary restrictions on their work; to stop reprisals for legitimate human rights work.

Read the full report here

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