Torture in Azerbaijan ‘systemic and endemic,’ according to CPT

CPT: Azerbaijan should “take decisive action to stamp out torture”

The Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT)

published

all of its reports about Azerbaijan yesterday along with the Azerbaijani government’s responses.

The CPT made six visits to Azerbaijan between 2004 and 2017 to study torture and corruption in the country’s law enforcement system. The committee found repeatedly that persons detained by the police were tortured or physical ill-treated, denied access to lawyers and doctors, and not informed of their rights. The CPT also found a lack of effective investigations and “a generalized culture of violence” within law enforcement.

“The CPT’s overall impression of the situation in Azerbaijan is that torture and other forms of physical ill-treatment by the police and other law enforcement agencies, corruption in the whole law enforcement system and impunity remain systemic and endemic,” reads the accompanying press release.

Over the course of its visits, the committee also found serious problems in the military, psychiatric hospitals, and social care homes.

The decision to publish the reports was taken by Azerbaijani authorities, although they were under no obligation to do so. Mykola Gnatovskyy, President of the CPT, called the decision “a major breakthrough and a clear indication of the authorities’ resolve to enhance their dialogue with the Committee.”

“It is high time that the Azerbaijani authorities took decisive action to stamp out torture in the country and implement to the fullest extent the Committee’s recommendations,” Mr. Gnatovskyy added.

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