At its session in Geneva this week, the UN Committee against Torture (CAT) will review Azerbaijan’s fourth periodic report about its implementation of the Convention against Torture. In cooperation with the World Organization against Torture (OMCT), International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR) have prepared and submitted a joint alternative report to the CAT to inform its review.
Already in its last Concluding Observations on Azerbaijan adopted in 2009, the CAT expressed concern about the harassment of human rights defenders, as well as the lack of due process in the cases of criminal convictions of individuals who express their opinions. Since then, the situation has dramatically worsened in Azerbaijan and the crackdown on civil society organizations and human rights defenders has intensified. OMCT’s and IPHR’s alternative report is intended to provide information and analysis on developments in this area. In particular, it highlights legal restrictions of the work of human rights defenders; arbitrary detention and criminal prosecution of human rights defenders; harassment of defense lawyers who represent human rights defenders; and torture and ill-treatment against human rights defenders in detention. The report is based on information from representatives of domestic and international NGOs, lawyers, and family members of detained human rights defenders.
CAT will review Azerbaijan on Wednesday 11 November 2015 (10:00 – 13:00) and on Thursday 12 November 2015 (15:00 – 18:00). The session will be webcast and can be followed live at: www.treatybodywebcast.org.