The Council of Europe has launched unprecedented legal action against Azerbaijan over an imprisoned opposition politician, raising the possibility of the country being kicked out of the 47-nation council.
On December 5, the CoE Committee of Ministers announced that it was opening infringement proceedings “due to the authorities’ continuing refusal to ensure the unconditional release of opposition politician Ilgar Mammadov following a judgment from the European Court of Human Rights.”
In May 2014, the ECHR concluded that Mammadov, a leader of the opposition group REAL, had been falsely imprisoned. The court found that Mammadov’s arrest and pre-trial detention were initiated to silence him for criticizing the government.
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