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Statements in International Organisations


OSCE - Permanent Council No. 696: Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union on the release of 119 prisoners in Azerbaijan (Vienna)

Declaration delivered by H.E. Ambassador Stanislav Raščan

I would like to draw the attention of the participating States to the following Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union, issued on the 8th of January 2008:

“The European Union welcomes the long-awaited release of five journalists on the occasion of Solidarity Day of World Azerbaijanis.

The presidential pardon is a positive step towards Azerbaijan's fulfilment of international and European obligations with regard to freedom of the press.

The European Union would like to see the three journalists still imprisoned (Mirza Sakit Zahidov, Ganimat Zahid and Eynullah Fatullayev) released or pardoned at the earliest opportunity and would like a moratorium to be declared on proceedings for defamation. The European Union is convinced that such political gestures could contribute to strengthening the partnership between Azerbaijan and the European Union and would be conducive to a more favourable political atmosphere in the run-up to the electoral campaign.

The candidate countries  Turkey, Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate countries Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia, the European Free Trade Association countries and members of the European Economic Area Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, as well as the Republic of Moldova align themselves with this declaration.

* Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process”


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Date: 16.05.2008