Oral statement on UPR outcome
On 20 September 2018, Lawyers for Lawyers delivered an oral statement during the 39th Session of the UN Human Rights Council. During this session, the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Outcome Report of Azerbaijan was adopted. Lawyers for Lawyers had already submitted a NGO-submission for the UPR-session of Azerbaijan.
Read the full statement here:
Lawyers for Lawyers welcomes the decision of Azerbaijan to accept some of the recommendations relating to the rights of lawyers, made at its 3rdUPR. We call on Azerbaijan to effectively implement these recommendations without delay.
Protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms requires effective access to legal services provided by an independent legal profession. Fundamental to improving human rights for the people in Azerbaijan is a justice system that allows lawyers to work independently without fear of harassment or intimidation.
According to our information, lawyers in Azerbaijan working on sensitive cases are sometimes the subject of intimidation, harassment or other improper interference in their work. Lawyers who have publicly expressed concerns about possible human rights violations of their clients, face disbarment or other disciplinary measures by the Bar Association of Azerbaijan.
Bar associations have a vital role to play in protecting their members from persecution and improper restrictions and infringements. We are concerned that the Azerbaijan Bar Association reportedly suffers from institutional weaknesses and does not operate as an independent self-governing institution. Constituent bodies of the Bar Association are under the direct influence of the authorities and appear to have insufficient leeway to carry out their functions in an independent manner.
We therefore urge Azerbaijan to take immediate measures to ensure that sufficient safeguards are in place to guarantee the full independence of lawyers and their effective protection against any form of undue interference in their work, including their disbarment or other disciplinary actions on improper grounds.
In particular, we urge Azerbaijan to revoke the decision to suspend or disbar lawyers Khalid Bagirov, Elchin Namazov, Aslan Ismayilov, Muzaffar Bakhishov, Alaif Hasanov, Yalchin Imanov, Nemat Karimli, Asabali Mustafayev and recently Irada Javadova.
A PDF – version of the statement is available here. A video of the statement can be viewed here:
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