Strasbourg, 20.12.2011 – A delegation of the Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) carried out a visit to Azerbaijan from 5 to 15 December 2011. The visit was carried out within the framework of the CPT's programme of periodic visits for 2011 and was the Committee's third periodic visit to Azerbaijan.
The CPT’s delegation assessed progress made since previous visits and the extent to which the Committee’s recommendations have been implemented, in particular as regards police custody, imprisonment – including inmates sentenced to life imprisonment – and legal safeguards for patients in psychiatric institutions. Further, it visited for the first time a psychoneurological boarding home.
In the course of the visit, the delegation met Fikrat MAMMADOV, Minister of Justice, Madat GULIYEV, Deputy Minister of Justice and Director of the Penitentiary Services, and Oruj ZALOV, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, as well as other senior officials from the Ministries of Internal Affairs, Justice, Health, and Labour and Social Protection, and from the Prosecutor General's Office. In addition, the delegation met Elmira SULEYMANOVA, Human Rights Commissioner (Ombudsman). Meetings were also held with representatives of the ICRC and OSCE as well as with members of non-governmental organisations active in areas of interest to the CPT.
At the end of the visit, the delegation presented its preliminary observations to the Azerbaijani authorities.
The visit was carried out by the following members of the CPT:
- Haritini DIPLA (Greek), 2nd Vice-President of the CPT and head of the delegation
- Celso DAS NEVES MANATA, (Portuguese)
- James McMANUS, (British)
- Marc NEVE, (Belgian)
- Nadia POLNAREVA, (Bulgarian)
- Jean-Pierre RESTELLINI, (Swiss).
They were supported by Elvin ALIYEV, Julien ATTUIL and Isabelle SERVOZ-GALLUCCI of the CPT's Secretariat, and assisted by an expert: Clive MEUX, forensic psychiatrist, Oxford (United Kingdom).
The delegation visited the following places of deprivation of liberty:
Establishments under the Ministry of Internal Affairs
- Temporary detention centre of the Main Department for Combating Organised
- Main Department for the fight against drugs, Baku
- Reception and distribution centre for minors of the Main City Police Department, Baku
- Detention unit for persons under administrative arrest, Baku
- Binagadi District Police Department, Baku
- Nasimi District Police Department, Baku
- Sabayil District Police Department, Baku
- Yasamal District Police Department, Baku
- Temporary detention centre of Aghdash District Police Department
- Main City Police Department and temporary detention centre of Ganja/Kapaz
- Temporary detention centre of Goygol District Police Department
- Temporary detention centre of Tovuz District Police Department
- Temporary detention centre of Shamkir District Police Department
Establishments under the authority of the Ministry of Justice
- Gobustan Prison
- Baku pre-trial detention facility, Zabrat
- Special-regime penitentiary establishment No. 8, Garadagh District
The delegation also paid a brief visit to the pre-trial detention facility n°2 (“investigative isolator”) in Ganja, in order to interview recently-arrived remand prisoners.
Establishments under the authority of the Ministry of Health
- Republican Psychiatric Hospital No. 1, Mashtaga
- Psychiatric hospital, Ganja
Establishments under the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection
- Goygol District Psychoneurological Boarding Home N°8, Qiriqli