Azerbaijan: New anti-torture report reveals “systemic and widespread” torture, impunity and corruption in law enforcement

A new anti-torture report confirms that torture, impunity and corruption in law enforcement are “systemic,  widespread and endemic” in Azerbaijan.

The Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) has published the findings of six visits to Azerbaijan – in 2004, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017 – together with the responses of the Azerbaijani Government.

The CPT reveals the existence of a “generalised culture of violence among the staff of various law enforcement agencies.”

The report also notes that there is “a serious problem of impunity and lack of proper investigation of ill-treatment allegations and ineffective legal safeguards for detained persons, such as access to a lawyer, notification of custody, access to a doctor, receiving information on rights.

“Further, despite legislative reforms and efforts to renovate old and build new prisons, there is an ongoing problem of prison overcrowding, poor material conditions, lack of activities (especially for remand and life-sentenced prisoners), inadequate medical care and insufficient and poorly paid prison staff.

“These issues make it harder to fight corruption and prevent inter-prisoner violence.”

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