Representatives of international and Azerbaijani non-governmental organizations called upon Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland and Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe to support a full, thorough and independent investigation into the corruption allegations involving Azerbaijan, with full civil society oversight.
“We welcome the decision of the PACE Bureau on 27 January 2017 to set up an independent investigation body to shed light on hidden practices that favour corruption. The Bureau has also committed to revising the Assembly’s Code of Conduct and invited GRECO (the Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption) to provide advice to the Rules Committee, charged with the investigation,” the statement reads.
The organizations urge Thorbjorn Jagland to make a very strong statement to affirm that there will be no tolerance of any corruption, including bribery, trading in influence or taking up of roles that imply a conflict of interest, in the Parliamentary Assembly and the Council of Europe in general.
“Commitment to the rule of law, integrity, transparency, and public accountability should be effectively enforced as the key principles of the work of the Parliamentary Assembly. If such a decision is not made now, reputational damage to PACE may become irreparable, preventing PACE from fulfilling its role as a guardian of human rights across the Council of Europe region.”
The statement is signed by 56 organizations.