24 PACE deputies initiate investigation into “Terter case”

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Baku/28.06.21/Turan: On the eve of the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, 24 members of the CE Parliamentary Assembly have run initiative to investigate tortures in Azerbaijan.

An appropriate document under №1551 was published on June 25 on the PACE website. The investigation was initiated by Italian senator Roberta Rampi.

Note that the authors of the document squared the need for investigation with facts of large-scale tortures in the “Terter case” where above 200 servicemen fell victims to tortures, 11 died.

It should be recognized that since then, reports on inhumane treatment and tortures against critics of the authorities in custody have become more frequent.

Added to this can be that “the Parliamentary Assembly is concerned about the growing number of reports on tortures and inhuman treatment in Azerbaijan. For instance, in 2017, above 1,000 servicemen and civilians from frontline regions of Azerbaijan were detained on suspicion of espionage and high treason. More than 200 criminal cases were initiated against them, many of whom were tortured and suffered from inhuman treatment. From May 1 to May 17, 2017, eleven people died as a result of torture.

It ought to be noted that twenty-five people were convicted of high treason on the basis of information obtained due to interrogations under torture and sentenced to seven to twenty years of imprisonment.

Note that out of the eleven people killed under torture, five were acquitted posthumously. The Azerbaijani authorities recognized just 102 victims out of 135 as allegedly subjected to tortures and inhuman treatment. However, no one has received compensation for the damage caused,” the document adds.

Also, the issues cited above concern independent journalists, human rights defenders, representatives of the political opposition and dissidents who are persecuted and imprisoned by the Azerbaijani authorities and often subjected to tortures and degrading treatment.

It is obvious that “the Assembly should appoint a rapporteur to investigate cases of tortures and inhuman treatment and assess Azerbaijan’s compliance with Articles 2 (right to life), 3 (prohibition of torture), 6 (right to fair trial) and 13 (right to effective judicial remedy). The Assembly should call on the Azerbaijani authorities to comply with the European Convention on Human Rights and stop all tortures, inhuman and degrading treatment of prisoners,” the document says.

“The initiative of Italian Senator Roberto Rampi might initiate a PACE report preparation on tortures and inhuman treatment in Azerbaijan. For this to happen, this initiative has to be approved in September this year at the meetings of the Presidential Committee and the PACE Bureau. We hope that the Presidential Committee and the Bureau, as well as the majority of PACE members, allowing for the situation in Azerbaijan, will support the initiative of Senator Roberto Rampi and give impetus to the preparation of an appropriate report,” said human rights activist Emin Huseynov who informed PACE deputies about the facts of tortures.

*On May 7, 2017, the Prosecutor General’s Office, the State Security Service, the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Azerbaijan reported on the detention of a group of military personnel and civilians for spying in favor of the Armenian special services.

As a consequence, the Prosecutor General’s Office opened a criminal case under Article 274 (high treason) of the Criminal Code. The detainees were sentenced to various terms of imprisonment. However, it soon became known that during the investigation at least 8 suspects were killed as a result of tortures. Later on, four of the victims were acquitted, and the investigators who fabricated charges against them received up to 7 years of imprisonment.-–06D-

The full text, as well as the list of deputies who signed the document, can be found at the link below:
https://pace.coe.int/pdf/4d00ce250fb69be1a332df980ea1d9f511791d2bdb5ffef0ad227a652e33a427/doc.%2015331.pdf

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