Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement today (14 August) on the release of Ilgar Mammadov:
I was greatly relieved to hear the news of the release of Ilgar Mammadov, leader of the ReAl party. I welcome this decision by the Azerbaijani court and encourage the Azerbaijani Government to honour the commitments it entered into under the European Convention on Human Rights.
The ongoing detention of Ilgar Mammadov in spite of two rulings by the European Court of Human Rights was a cause for concern for me, not least in the context of our cooperation with Azerbaijan in the Council of Europe.
We attach great importance to democracy, the rule of law and human rights in our bilateral relations with Azerbaijan. I will continue to follow the situation with respect to human rights in Azerbaijan closely.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled in numerous cases that Azerbaijan has violated the European Convention on Human Rights. In the case of the opposition politician and leader of the ReAl party Ilgar Mammadov, the European Court of Human Rights had already found that his pre trial detention was illegal in 2014. In November 2017, it ruled that his sentence of imprisonment was also in violation of the convention.