November 11, the OMCT and IPHR brought to the attention of the UN anti-torture body the unprecedented clampdown taking place in Azerbaijan over the last two years.
The two organizations raised cases of Leyla Yunus, and many other prisoners currently in jail, as well as prison conditions and detention facilities under the Ministry of National Security where prisoners are held in almost complete isolation and who are potential victims of torture as a result of the absence of torture prevention mechanisms in Azerbaijan.
"We are concerned over the safety of our colleagues and members. We fear the return of patterns suggesting a clear intention not only to arbitrarily detain but to break human rights defenders in prison", said Gerald Staberock, OMCT Secretary General.
“The international community has invested a great deal into the setting up of National Preventive Mechanisms and Ombudsman Institutions, mandated to monitor places of detention and to prevent torture. In Azerbaijan, these mechanisms are completely failing. It is time that these institutions live up to their expectation and assume their responsibility. Ultimately, without any credible civil society voice left we have to assume that whatever is known today about custody, detention and ill-treatment is only a glimpse of a tip of the iceberg”, said Brigitte Dufour, Director of IPHR.
The review of Azerbaijan is taking place today and tomorrow, November 12.