The conditions have also worsened
The Council of Europe has released a report entitled Prisons of Europe in 2005-2015 which indicates that the number of inmates in Azerbaijan’s prisons has increased and that the conditions are worsening.
Changes in numbers
The report showed that in 2015 there were about 250 prisoners per 100,000 compared to 203 per 100,000 in 2005.
There are slightly more prisoners in Georgia (274 prisoners per 100,000) while Armenia has slightly less (129 prisoners per 100,000).
In addition, the population density in prisons has increased by 25%. The number of female inmates has increased by 83%, and the number of foreigners by 12%.
But there is also good news: the number of deaths in prisons has decreased by 38% and the number of suicides by 70%.
The current state of affairs
The report ends with data from 2015, and the next three years remain outside the scope of the study. Local experts believe that prison conditions in Azerbaijan has not changed since then, and it may have become even worse.
“The number of prisoners may have decreased since 2015 due to amnesty and a number of acts of clemency. However, in general, with ensuring the rights of prisoners, the situation has worsened. There are more acts of torture and the inhumane treatment of prisoners. Despite the reduction in the number of convicts, the number of political prisoners is stably in the region of 150-160 people,” Elshan Hasanov, coordinator of the Union for the Freedom of Political Prisoners, told the Сaucasian Knot.
The coordinator of the Centre for the Protection of Political Prisoners, Oktay Gyulalyev, agrees with him:
“There are not enough bathrooms in prisons. The quality of medical care is very low. A serious problem is the large number of political prisoners, about 150.”
There were no comments from representatives of the Azerbaijan Penitentiary Service regarding the Council of Europe report.