А group of political emigrants from Azerbaijan held a protest today in front of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg where the spring session of the PACE recently opened.
Participants of the rally demand that European parliamentarians raise the issue of releasing political prisoners in Azerbaijan, chanting the names of Qiyas Ibrahimov, Bayram Mammadov, Mehman Huseynov, Ilgar Mammadov and others.
The protesters also demand an investigation into possible corruption and bribery of a number of PACE members by the Azerbaijani authorities, which contributed to the failure of Christopher Strasser’s report on political prisoners in Azerbaijan in 2013.
In his report, Strasser mentioned the names of 85 alleged political prisoners. He called on the Azerbaijani authorities to release these individuals without requiring a confession or public repentance as preconditions for their release.
In Milan, a trial is expected in upcoming days concerning money laundering and corruption, whose main figure is a former member of the Christian Democratic Party, former head of the European People’s Party faction in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Luca Volonte, who has been accused of receiving more than 2.3 million euros from Azerbaijani authorities in exchange for support in the Parliament Assembly of the Council of Europe.
The Milanese Prosecutor’s Office documents state that Volonte played a key role in rejecting the Strasser report on Azerbaijani political prisoners.
Volonta allegedly received payments through the British company Hilux Services LLP from an account with an Estonian bank registered in the name of the Azerbaijani joint stock company Baktelekom MMC, which is closely connected with the ruling Aliyev family.
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