The Perspective of Being Withdrawn from the CoE Frightened Azerbaijan
Days after the infringement proceedings launched by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe against Azerbaijan, the authorities of the country declared about the possibility to conditionally free Ilgar Mammadov. Taking into consideration the policy of Azerbaijan, this decision was not surprising at all.
To avoid the international criticism on the situation over human rights in the country, Azerbaijani authorities have periodically declared about amnesty (for example, in this way human rights activists Anar Mammedly and Rasul Jafarov, representatives of “Musavat” opposition party were freed). Sometimes the authorities also went to “concessions” (for example, by releasing Leyla and Arif Yunus).
It is noteworthy that earlier, on October 25, the Committee of the Ministers of the CoE published an interim report, which seemed that would make Azerbaijan free Mammadov to avoid international scandal. However, Azerbaijan did not do that, maybe to show its “principal” approach to the issue, at the same time hoping that it will be able to carry out preventive steps so as to avoid infringement proceedings.
Nevertheless, on December 5 the Committee of the Ministers of the CoE officially asked the ECHR to estimate, whether Azerbaijan has carried out the ECHR judgment. It is noteworthy that this procedure was introduced in 2010 and the CoE for the first time implements it against Azerbaijan. Before, the court found a violation of Article 18 of the Convention in only five judgments and in all of those cases the applicants were released.
It should be mentioned that if after the end of these infringement proceedings Mammadov is not freed, Azerbaijan will be withdrawn from the CoE. And though even at the highest levels it has many times been declared that Azerbaijan is ready to cut ties with the Council of Europe, by declaring about the possibility of freeing Mammadov, Azerbaijan proved that such a wish has always been a “blackmail” towards Europe.