“Ilgar Mammadov has once again confirmed that he does not intend to ask to be released on parole. There is a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights that says that he was arrested because of his political activities, in order to silence him, therefore he must be released immediately and unconditionally,” said Mammadov’s defense lawyer Fuad Aghayev on 11 December, after meeting with his client in prison.
The lawyer said that if Mammadov is acquitted and the case against him is dropped, the defenыe is willing to request the revocation of the appeal that the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe sent to the European Court of Human Rights regarding Azerbaijan, he said.
On 7 December, Novruz Mammadov, aide to the Azerbaijani president on foreign policy matters, said that Ilgar Mammadov, the leader of the democratic opposition movement Republican Alternative (REAL), could be given early release. To this end, Mammadov should request conditional release.
“Starting from 1 December 2017, Ilgar Mammadov has the right to request to be released on parole because he has served two thirds of his prison term. Along with that, Azerbaijan may conduct constructive talks to find other ways of addressing this matter,” Novruz Mammadov said.
On 5 December, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe started an inquiry with regard to Azerbaijan in connection with the continuing refusal by the country’s government to give unconditional release to opposition politician Ilgar Mammadov based on a ruling issued by the European Court of Human Rights in 2014.
If Mammadov is not released soon, sanctions against Baku will inevitable.
Ilgar Mammadov was arrested on 4 February 2013 over protests that took place in the town of Ismayilli on 23-24 January. Originally, Mammadov was charged under Article 233 (organising actions that are conducive to violation of public order) and Article 315.2 (offering resistance to police with use of force that threatens life and health) of the Azerbaijani Republic’s Criminal Code. Later, Article 233 was replaced with a more serious one – 220.1 (organising mass unrest accompanied by acts of arson and pogroms) of the Azerbaijani Republic’s Criminal Code.
On 17 March 2014, he was sentenced to seven years in prison.