Three Azerbaijani MPs banned from Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has published a list of members who have been permanently banned from the organisation because of their involvement in corruption and the violation of ethical standards.
Two full PACE members from Azerbaijan, Muslim Mammadov and Elkhan Suleymanov, as well as former PACE member Gultekin Hajibeyli were listed among others.
Mamedov and Suleymanov have been accused of corruption and violating the ethical standards of PACE. In addition, they did not react to letters sent from PACE demanding explanations on these issues.
Hajibeyli has also been accused of violating ethical norms and ignoring demands to provide explanations.
In an interview with the BBC, Gultekin Hajibeyli (who left PACE back in 2010) said she did not receive any letters from the Parliamentary Assembly, and called the incident a ‘provocation’. She says the authorities of Azerbaijan may be behind the event, as she has been an active member of the opposition.
She based her suspicions on the fact that her Facebook page was recently hacked. Hajibeyli promised to figure out what had happened and if necessary, appeal to the European Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg.
Also on the Parliamentary Assembly’s ‘black list’ were Zmago Jelinčič Plemeniti and Luca Volontè, whose charges include receiving bribes from the Azerbaijani authorities.
The list also includes the name of Andreas Gross, who, on the contrary, is known as one of the main critics of the Azerbaijani government. He, however, is accused not of corruption, but of violating ethical standards.