Today I submitted the following questions to High Representative Federica Mogherini following the continued detention of human rights lawyer and activist Emin Aslan in Azerbaijan.
On June 4th 2018 human rights lawyer Emin Aslan, an Azeri national, returned to Azerbaijan after finishing his studies in the United States. After crossing the border, seemingly without difficulties, he was taken by security forces in Baku. He was subsequently sentenced to 30 days in administrative detention for ‘disobeying the police’. His appeal was denied on Friday.
His arrest comes on top of a crackdown on human rights defenders and Azeri civil society as a whole, which started prior to and now continues after President Aliyev’s re-election last April.
- Is the HR/VP aware of Mr Aslan’s detention and if so, will she not only condemn his arrest but also discuss his case with Azeri authorities at the highest possible level and at the earliest possible opportunity?
- After President Aliyev’s re-election, the EU issued a statement emphasising its continued commitment to working with Azerbaijan to address ‘fundamental issues of democracy and human rights’. Can the HR/VP detail how this discussion is currently taking shape, what concrete objectives have been set in this regard and how she believes recent developments in Azerbaijan fit into this?
- If no improvements are made in terms of respects for democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Azerbaijan, will the HR/VP, together with the Commission, consider suspending the ongoing negotiations for an accession agreement?