On 23 April, the Supreme Court of Azerbaijan fully acquitted the Chairman of the Republican Alternative Party (ReAl), Ilgar Mammadov and prominent human rights defender and ReAl board member, Rasul Jafarov. This judgement, which overturns their previous convictions, is a welcome step that finally fully implements the respective decisions of the European Court of Human Rights. The European Union expects Azerbaijan to live up to its international commitments and to continue to implement the remaining decisions of the European Court of Human Rights.
The European Union will continue its cooperation and dialogue with Azerbaijan to address fundamental issues of democracy and human rights in the country. This is particularly important in the specific context of the coronavirus pandemic. All countries must ensure that extraordinary measures applied to fight the pandemic are limited to what is strictly necessary, proportionate and temporary in nature, subject to regular scrutiny, and respect the principles of rule of law, democracy and fundamental freedoms.