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Baku conference on ECtHR

Until the end of November, Azerbaijan will be presiding over the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. The end of the country’s CoM leadership will be marked by a conference scheduled to take place in October, in Baku. The event will focus on the European Court of Human Rights and the role played by the justice system in promoting standards enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights.

Invitations to take part in the conference have been extended to members of the judiciary from the Council of Europe’s Member States and judges of the Strasbourg Court. Poland will be represented by a member of the National Council of Judiciary.

The Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights has appealed to the Council’s Chairperson, Professor Roman Hauser, to introduce the topic of human rights violations occurring in Azerbaijan, the non-existent independence of the country’s justice system and the de-installation of its civic society into the official statements to be made by Poland’s representative during the event.

“In our statement to the National Council of Judiciary, we have pointed to the wide-reaching crackdown on human rights defenders which occurred in recent months, and in particular we have referred to the instances of detention of NGO activists”, says Dominika Bychawska-Siniarska, a lawyer working for the HFHR. “We have also quoted a number of international reports which underlined the abnormalities affecting the Azerbaijani justice system”, Ms Bychawska-Siniarska adds.

According to the HFHR, it is crucial to prevent Azerbaijani authorities from using the conference exclusively to promote their own publicity goals. To do so, each of the representatives invited to attend the event needs to emphasise that in Azerbaijan human rights are constantly violated.

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