Government officials said the visit of Thorhildur Sunna was inconvenient given local holidays " />

Baku cancels visit of CoE rapporteur on political prisoners

Government officials said the visit of Thorhildur Sunna was inconvenient given local holidays

Rapporteur of the Council of Europe on political prisoners in Azerbaijan Thorhildur Sunna had to postpone her visit to Baku after the authorities of the country said the dates of her arrival were “unsuitable”, since on June 4-5, Azerbaijan was marking a national holiday.

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“I am disappointed that I again had to postpone my visit to Azerbaijan,” Thorhildur Sunna wrote on Twitter.

Eid el-Fitr [ed. In Azerbaijan, the holiday is simply known as Ramazan bayramı] is celebrated at the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

In Azerbaijan, it is a bank holiday and the dates have been known for a long time. However, Sunna’s arrival was cancelled only at the last moment.

Sunna was going to discuss the issue of political prisoners with Azerbaijani officials and representatives of civil society.

Judging by the same post on Twitter, she intends to come to Azerbaijan in September.

Thorhildur Sunnah and Azerbaijani political prisoners

Thorhildur Sunna is an Icelandic lawyer, human rights activist and journalist.

She is a member of the Pirate Party of Iceland, which advocates for the reform of legislation in the field of intellectual property and copyright.

In June 2018, Thorhildur Sunna was appointed as a rapporteur to prepare a report on political prisoners in Azerbaijan to the PACE Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights.

In March 2019, about 50 Azerbaijani political prisoners were released within the framework of a large pardon. But in April, at the hearings in Strasbourg, Thorhildur Sunna stated that this did not solve the problem, and there are still about 70 people convicted for political reasons in prisons.

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During the two and a half months that have passed since the pardon in Azerbaijan, several more opposition figures and activists have been arrested, and some political prisoners have complained of torture.


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