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EU Welcomes Amnesty In Azerbaijan

The European Union has welcomed an amnesty announced by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev last week.

In a statement issued on October 20, the spokespersons of EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele said the amnesty would lead to the release of some 80 prisoners, including at least four civil society activists.

They described the move as “a positive first step in reversing the trend of recent months” and called on Azerbaijani authorities to extend the amnesty to “other individuals belonging to civil society organizations who currently face imprisonment.”

The European Union, United States, and UN human rights experts have denounced a trend of repression against civil society in Azerbaijan, which is the current chair of the Council of Europe.

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