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EU Calls For Azerbaijan Prison Investigation

11 February 2005 -- The European Union said today that there were credible allegations of torture and abuse in Azerbaijan's prisons and called for an immediate investigation into such claims.

The EU was responding to a report from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe that said trials in Azerbaijan fell short of both Azerbaijani law and international commitments on human rights.

The EU presidency said in a statement that particularly concerning were "the extensive, credible allegations of torture and coercion."

The statement called on Azerbaijan to undertake a thorough investigation into the accusations of torture and ill treatment as soon as possible.

The EU also said that people who had been convicted in trials that were not conducted properly should have their convictions cancelled or commuted and should be retried or released.