The EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and the European Commissioner for Enlargement Stefan Fule released a statement on the sentencing of Ilgar Mammadov and Tofiq Yaqublu on charges of staging riots in Ismayili, Azerbaijan.
Spokepersons of the two EU Officials said on 20 March: “The High Representative and the Commissioner have learned with concern that opposition politicians Ilgar Mammadov and Tofiq Yaqublu have been sentenced to long terms in prison by the Court in Sheki Azerbaijan, despite serious misgivings on the part of the international community over the fairness of their trials.
The High Representative and Commissioner note with regret that the verdicts against Mr
Mammadov and Mr Yaqublu appear politically motivated, contrary to Azerbaijan’s
international commitments as a member of the Council of Europe. The High Representative
and Commissioner call upon Azerbaijan to do more to ensure the independence of the
judiciary, in keeping with their responsibility as upcoming chair of the Council of Europe’s
Committee of Ministers.”