The Monitoring Committee of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, meeting in Warsaw on 17 September 2015, said that it was deeply concerned by the deterioration of local democracy in Azerbaijan, the detention of its partners and the difficulties in functioning experienced by the alliance for municipal development (BINA), and more generally, by the situation of human rights at local level.
The Committee said it never received much response to its Recommendation no.326 which was issued in 2012 on the country's local and regional democracy.
Although the recommendation was forwarded by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to the authorities it has remained a dead letter.
The committee also condemned "the arrest and sentencing of its main partners in Azerbaijan, including Ilgar Mamadov, Director of the School of Political Studies in Baku, who is still being held in detention despite the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights, and Leyla and Arif Yunus, who were recently given an eight-year prison sentence."
The committee regrets its main partner BINA ceased its activites in Azerbaijan as a result of freezing of its bank accounts.
A list of asks and invitations were aso voiced by the Congress Monitoring Committee:
invites the Azerbaijani authorities to co-operate with the Congress in keeping with the principles set out in Article 3 of the Statute of the Council of Europe, which Azerbaijan accepted when it became a member of the Council of Europe ;
asks the Azerbaijani authorities to enable it once more to work with its close partners by releasing them and allowing local democracy NGOs to function normally;
undertakes to regularly include this matter on the agenda of its meetings to ensure that the situation continues to be monitored;
invite the members of the Azerbaijani delegation of the Monitoring Committee, to participate in a debate on the situation of Azerbaijan during the next meeting of the Committee.