The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights has unanimously found that Azerbaijan had failed to comply with the 2014 binding ruling that there was no basis for the detention of Ilgar Mammadov, a prominent political analyst and one of Azerbaijan’s few alternative political voices. It was the first-ever judgement under the relatively new infringement procedure, which authorizes the European Court to determine whether a country has refused to carry out the court’s final judgment.
Azerbaijani authorities arrested Mammadov in February 2013, shortly after he announced plans to challenge President Ilham Aliyev in upcoming elections, and in a total mockery of justice, convicted him of inciting violence and sentenced him to seven years in prison.
In the decision published this week, the European Court found Azerbaijan failed to act in “good faith” and in accordance with the “conclusions and spirit” of the court’s 2014 decision, which found Mammadov’s 2013 detention was without “any reasonable suspicion that he had committed an offense.” The court went further, saying the actual purpose of his pretrial detention was “to silence or punish” him for criticizing the government.
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