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The illegally jailed Director of the Council of Europe Baku School of Political Studies, Ilgar Mammadov, should be released immediately, Catherine Lalumière*, President of the Association of Schools of Political Studies (ASPS)**, said today in Strasbourg.

The former French Minister who is attending a meeting on Human Rights and Democracy, denounced the 18 November ruling by Azerbaijan’s Supreme Court on an appeal by the opposition politician which was in flagrant violation of a 2014 European Court of Human Rights judgment.

The Strasbourg case against Azerbaijan was brought by Ilgar Mammadov, a leading human rights defender, following his arrest and detention on politically motivated charges after he announced he would be standing against Ilham Aliyev in the country’s 2013 presidential election.

Calling for action, and not just words, Catherine Lalumière said the EU, the Council of Europe and the OSCE must ensure proper implementation of the Court’s decisions and full respect for human rights including freedom of expression, freedom of association, freedom of the media and independence of the judiciary both in Azerbaijan and other member states.

*Catherine Lalumière (France), the ASPS President, was Secretary General of the Council of Europe from 1989 to 1994. It is thanks to her that the first School was established in Moscow in 1992.

**The Association of Schools of Political Studies was set up in 2008 and is headquartered in Strasbourg. It supports what is now a network of 21 Council of Europe Schools in Europe and Africa with a view to strengthening ties between them and stimulating their development. 

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