Bluff or Back to Capital Punishment?

The Board of the Unified Popular Front of Azerbaijan issued a statement on the restoration of the death penalty, taking into account cases of treason to the state by a number of servicemen.

The Board of the Unified Popular Front of

Azerbaijan

issued a

statement

on the restoration of the death penalty, taking into account cases of treason to the state by a number of servicemen.

“During the hearings, the incident should be seriously investigated, the parliament should inform the Supreme Commander of the information, the perpetrators should be severely punished, the public’s concerns should be put to rest,” the party statement said.

The last time in Azerbaijan that the death penalty was carried out was in 1993. In the same year, an informal moratorium on the use of the death penalty was launched. And in 1998 the Milli Majlis abolished the death penalty and replaced it with life imprisonment.

True, the Criminal Code of the country still retains the amendment on the use of the death penalty in exceptional cases, as attorney Elchin Sadiqov says.

Nevertheless, at the moment the maximum punishment in Azerbaijan is life imprisonment.

What does the board of the UPFA, which came out with this initiative, want? Meydan TV asked former prisoner of conscience and human rights’ activist Rasul Jafarov:

“The process of the gradual abolition of the death penalty is now going on all over the world, albeit slowly, over the past 20 years, in various countries, including a number of American states, the death penalty was abolished and replaced with life imprisonment” .

The human rights activist also noted that “Everyone knows that this party is not independent and its statements can not be regarded as objectively independent, such steps in countries with a closed political system like ours can only serve to strengthen the atmosphere of intimidation.

However, such a move could lead to the loss of membership in the Council of Europe, I think that at the moment this is not in the government’s interest.

Therefore, I tend to evaluate this step more as a bluff, rather than as a real desire to restore the death penalty. It’s just an obvious message to the society that we are in a position to discuss even such steps and, in extreme cases, we can make a move for it”, the human rights activist concluded.

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