EP Resolution On Safarov

EP RESOLUTION ON SAFAROV

Story from Lragir.am News:

Published: 17:48:35 – 13/09/2012

The European Parliament has discussed the resolution on Safarov’s
case. It will be voted on. Below is the text of the resolution:

The European Parliament,

having regard to its previous resolutions on the situation in
Azerbaijan on 5 May 2012, in particular those concerning human rights,

– having regard to the established practice of the international
law regarding transfer, the European Convention on the Transfer of
Sentenced Persons, which co-operation was agreed in order to further
the ends of justice and the social rehabilitation of sentenced persons,
by giving them the opportunity to serve their sentences within their
own society,

– having regard to the statement (of 3 September 2012) by the
spokespersons of the EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and
Commissioner tefan Fule on the release of Ramil Safarov,

– having regard to various statements and communications of
the Hungarian Government Authorities in which they gave explicit
assurances that Hungary acted in accordance with the international law,
obligations and good practices,

– having regard to Rules 122(5) and 110(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas Azerbaijan is an elected non-permanent member of the UN
Security Council in 2012 for two years, as well as the member of
the Council of Europe in which it will assume the Presidency of the
Committee of the Ministers in 2014;

B. whereas the Azerbaijani citizen Ramil Safarov have been given to
a life sentence for the brutal murder of an Armenian soldier, Gurgen
Markarian, which he committed during his stay at the military academy
in Budapest in 2004, where both attended the English-language courses
organised by NATO,

C. whereas Ramil Safarov has requested – pursuant to the 1983
Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons – his transfer to
Azerbaijan in order to serve his sentence in Azerbaijan,

D. whereas the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons,
to which Hungary and Azerbaijan are both signatory parties, states
in article 9. that a person sentenced in the territory of one state
may be transferred to the territory of another in order to serve
the sentence imposed on him, provided that conditions laid by the
Convention are met,

E. whereas the Deputy Minister of Justice of the Republic of
Azerbaijan, Vilayat Zahirov, sent an official letter to the Ministry
of Public Administration and Justice of Hungary on 15 August 2012,
in which he stated that the execution of the court’s decisions of
the foreign states regarding the transfer of sentenced persons to
serve the remaining part of their prison sentences in the Republic of
Azerbaijan are carried out in accordance with Article 9 paragraph 1
point a) of the Convention and without any conversion of the court’s
sentence. He further gave an assurance that according to the Criminal
Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan the punishment of a convict who
is serving a life sentence could only be replaced by a court with an
imprisonment for defined period or could be released on conditional
parole, only after at least 25 years of the prison have been served,

F. whereas immediately upon the transfer of Ramil Safarov to Azerbaijan
the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev pardoned Ramil Safarov in line
with the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan and article 12
of the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons, to which no
reference was made in the letter noted in paragraph E,

G. whereas the presidential pardon given in such a short time questions
the original motives of the demand for the transfer of Ramil Safarov,
is not in line of the letter of the Azerbaijani Deputy Minister
of Justice, Vilayat Zahirov, of 15 August 2012, and undermines the
objective of the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons which
provides for the conditions to serve the remaining of the sentence
in different state;

H. whereas Ramil Safarov, after his release from prison, was promoted
to the rank of major, was given an apartment and all the pay he had
lost since his arrest, and was accorded popular recognition throughout
the country,

I. whereas the Republic of Armenia has suspended its diplomatic ties
with Hungary on 31 August 2012,

1. Deplores the decision by the President of Azerbaijan to grant
pardon to Ramil Safarov, regarded by some as a gesture that could
contribute to further escalation of the tensions and widens the
feelings of injustice that have arisen from the unresolved conflict
over the Nagorno-Karabakh, and expresses its hope that the President
of Azerbaijan and the President of Armenia will refrain from acts
that do not contribute to the reconciliation between the states of
the Southern Caucasus;

2. Is concerned about the publicity given to Ramil Safarov, sentenced
murderer, upon his arrival in Azerbaijan, its impact of this as an
example for future generations and the promotion and recognition he
received from the Azerbaijani state; and is further concerned that
this act threatens all peaceful reconciliation processes within the
societies affected, undermines future possibilities of the evolvement
of a peaceful people-to-people contact in the region,

3. Notes that in 2001 Armenia gave a free pardon to Varoujan
Garabedian, sentenced to life imprisonment by France in 1985 for
terrorism, on his transfer to Armenia,

4. Recalls that overemotional responses, emotional acts from the
Armenian side are not contributing to a peaceful solution in the long
term, therefore calls for calm,

5. Encourages the authorities of Azerbaijan and Armenia to strengthen
their efforts for the reconciliation between the two nations and
the region;

6. Recalls its position that the Association Agreement between the
EU and Azerbaijan, currently being negotiated, should include clauses
and benchmarks on the protection and promotion of human rights,

7. Urges the Azerbaijani authorities to step up its efforts to reform
all aspects of the judicial system on the basis of the rule of law:
prosecution, trial, sentencing, detention and appeals;

8. Calls on the Azerbaijani authorities to comply with all rulings of
the European Court on Human Rights concerning Azerbaijan;9. Instructs
its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the
Commission, the EEAS, the Governments and Parliaments of the Republic
of Azerbaijan and the EU Member States.

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