SP wins Parliament’s support: ‘Azerbaijan must release prisoners of conscience’

24 June 2015

SP wins Parliament’s support: ‘Azerbaijan must release prisoners of conscience’

Foto: SP

SP Member of Parliament Harry van Bommel won the support of his fellow MPs when they voted in favour of a resolution calling on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to demand the release of prisoners of conscience in Azerbaijan. ‘In the runup to the European Games which began recently in the country, critics of the government have been dealt with extremely harshly,’ says Van Bommel. ‘Dozens of them have been arrested and locked up to prevent them from expressing their opinions. It’s completely unacceptable that there are prisoners of conscience in Azerbaijan ao I’m pleased that Parliament has supported my call for their release. It’s important that we show solidarity with the victims of this repression.’

Amnesty International recently published a report on the repression (See ‘SP supports Amnesty Action against human rights abuses in Azerbaijan’ ) while other parliaments and organisations in Europe, including the Bundestag in Berlin, have made comparable calls, as has the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), in which SP Senator Tiny Kox chairs the Left Group. Kox won broad support for his demand that Azerbaijan supply the names of arrested human rights activists and immediately release them. Those imprisoned include Leyla and Arif Yunus, whose daughter Dinara is resident in the Netherlands. Dinara Yunus was present at the PACE meeting in Strasbourg and talked afterwards of her joy at the massive international support for the imprisoned activists in Azerbaijan.

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