Thursday, December 24

Azerbaijan's political prisoners- 93 and counting?!

Even though the officials in Baku dismiss any claims about the existence of political prisoners in Azerbaijan, a working group on human rights concluded yesterday an updated list, with names of 93 individuals. 

Following their meeting yesterday, the group said 3 out of 80 people who were on the list as of May 2015 were released. But the list was expanded to include new names. 

The list of political prisoners is updated based on the criteria of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly resolution adopted in 2012. Based on this criteria, 16 more names were added to the previous list making the total number of political prisoners in the country 93. 

An official pardon decree is expected in the following days. A different working group compiled its own list with 22 names. Arzu Abdullayeva, one of the members of this working group, said their list includes the names of prisoners of conscience and activists from various civil society organizations. 

But this working group does not recognize the list compiled by the working group who authored the first list of political prisoners (with over 90 names). 

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