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"A decision by the Supreme Court to release on probation Intigam Aliyev, a prominent human rights lawyer who spent the last two years in jail, is another positive development in Azerbaijan, following the pardon earlier this month of representatives of political parties, NGOs and journalists, to mark the Nowruz holiday.
These steps have been long awaited and the European Union hopes that further steps will follow, leading to the full release and rehabilitation of all those currently imprisoned or under restriction of movement in Azerbaijan on political grounds, in line with Azerbaijan's international commitments as a member of the United Nations, the Council of Europe, and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
An independent and diverse civil society makes an important contribution to a country's wellbeing and stability."