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EU voices concern over human rights abuses in Azerbaijan

Brussels, Feb 12, IRNA -- The European Union has expressed its concerns over the continuing human rights violations in Azerbaijan.

A statement issued by the current EU Luxembourg presidency Friday said the conclusions of the recent OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) report "shows that in some important respects trials fell well short of Azerbaijan's existing legal requirements and its international commitments on human rights and rule of law."

"Of particular concern are the extensive, credible allegations of torture and ill-treatment of detainees, the absence of adequate legal action or remedies in the face of these serious allegations and the acceptance by the courts of evidence said to have been obtained by torture and coercion," noted the EU statement.

The 25-member European bloc called on the government of Azerbaijan to undertake a wide-ranging and independent inquiry into the allegations of torture and ill-treatment as soon as possible.

It also called for publication of the results of the investigation into the excessive use of force by the security forces during the post-election disturbances on October 16, 2003.

The statement added that the EU "is pleased that the Azerbaijani authorities are willing to continue their cooperation with the OSCE."

The EU said it was ready to assist Azerbaijan in implementing its legislation on the workings of the judicial system and its international commitments on human rights.

... Payvand News - 2/12/05 ... --

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