Brussels, 9 February 2013
Statement by the spokespersons of EU High Representative Catherine Ashton, and the European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, on recent events in Azerbaijan
The spokespersons of Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, and Štefan Füle, European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy, issued the following statement today:
The High Representative and the Commissioner are concerned that Mr. Tofig Yagublu, newspaper columnist and deputy chairman of opposition party “Musavat” and Mr. Ilgar Mammedov, leader and Presidential candidate of the Republican Alternative party, were arrested on 4 February and given a two month pre-trial detention by an appeal court on 8 February.
The High Representative and Commissioner Füle urge Azerbaijan to ensure a speedy, fair, transparent and independent investigation of the charges. At the same time the High Representative and the Commissioner urge the Azerbaijani authorities to refrain from further hindering journalists and political activists who seek to exercise their fundamental rights and freedoms.
The High Representative and Commissioner Füle also invite Azerbaijan to review urgently charges imposed against participants in a peaceful solidarity demonstration held on 26 January in Baku, and to ensure that existing allegations of ill-treatment of detainees participating in that demonstration and the January Ismayilli protests are credibly investigated, and due detention conditions are guaranteed for those under arrest.