Helsinki Citizens' Assembly-Vanadzor

UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW JOINT SUBMISSION FOR THE FOURTH PERIODIC REVIEW OF AZERBAIJAN BY COALITION FOR JUSTICE AND HUMAN RIGHTS

April 12, 2023

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CIVIL SOCIETY’S JOINT RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE 4th UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW OF AZERBAIJAN

 

The recommendations were developed based on the alternative UPR report submitted by a group of Armenia-based CSOs to the UN. The report presents an overview of Azerbaijan’s compliance with its obligations under international human rights instruments in light of the recommendations made during the 3rd cycle of UPR, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESC), Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT), International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), etc.
The report focuses on the right to life, prohibition of enforced disappearances, prohibition of torture and other forms of ill-treatment, including failure to ensure effective investigation, equality and non-discrimination, gender-based violence, right to health and food.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS
1. Unblock the Lachin corridor to ensure safe and free passage for persons and all types of vehicles in line with ICJ’s legally binding Preliminary Order of 22 February 2023;
2. Ensure full respect to the right to development, health, food, education, and the rights of persons with disabilities of the population of Nagorno Karabakh in line with its international obligations;
3. Ensure immediate and unconditional repatriation of all Armenian detainees and prisoners of war kept in Azerbaijan without delay in line with November 9, 2020, ceasefire agreement and principles of international humanitarian law;
4. Undertake policy, capacity building and other necessary measures to eradicate torture, ill-treatment and arbitrary arrests in line with the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment;
5. Conduct an independent, speedy and effective investigation into all reports of arbitrary executions, torture and ill-treatment of the Armenian POWs and detainees, including in the context of the 2020 hostilities, bring those responsible to justice and report about the results of investigations to the UN Special Procedures;
6. Ensure free access of international media and journalists to Lachin corridor and Nagorno-Karabakh to be able to cover the human rights situation on the ground;
7. Take all necessary measures to prevent the incitement and promotion of racial hatred and discrimination, including by high-level officials and public institutions, targeted at persons of  Armenian national or ethnic origin in line with ICJ’s legally binding Preliminary Order of 7 December 2021;
8. Adopt measures to strengthen the school textbooks review process in order to integrate the concepts of ethnic and cultural diversity, and fight against racial hatred and discrimination at all levels of education;
9. Ensure unhindered access to all places of deprivation of liberty for international human rights mechanisms, including SPT, CPT and UN mandate holders;
10. Strengthen training for its military forces on gender-based violence, prohibition of torture and arbitrary deprivation of life of protected persons;
11. Ensure effective investigation into the committed war crimes and take effective measures to prevent possible war crimes by the Azerbaijani armed forces in the future; 
12. Ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and align the national legislation to its standards;
13. Ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance;
14. Implement wholly and effectively the Concluding Observations presented by the UN CERD to the Republic of Azerbaijan (CERD/C/AZE/CO/10-12; 22 September 2022);
15. Fully cooperate with UNESCO and UN Special Procedures to allow on-site visits of international experts to the territory of Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh region to assess the conditions and risks for the Armenian cultural and religious heritage.
16. Implement effectively the ICJ Preliminary Order (12 October 2022) that requires taking all necessary measures to prevent and punish acts of vandalism and desecration affecting Armenian cultural heritage, including but not limited to churches and other places of worship, monuments, landmarks, cemeteries and artefacts.

 

The main submitting organization:
Protection of Rights without Borders NGO
Democracy Development Foundation
Transparency International Anti-Corruption Center
Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly -Vanadzor
Women’s Resource Center Armenia
Journalists’ Club “Asparez”

 

Periodic Review HERE

 

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