CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES UNDER ARTICLE 19
OF THE CONVENTION
Initial reports of States parties due in 1997
[18 December 1998]
||1 - 3
|| 4 - 12
RELATING TO EACH OF THE ARTICLES IN PART I OF THE CONVENTION
|13 - 294
|| 13 - 19
|| 20 - 75
|| 76 - 93
|| 94 - 131
||132 - 142
||143 - 159
||160 - 170
||171 - 174
||175 - 180
||181 - 193
||194 - 226
||227 - 244
||245 - 265
||266 - 278
||279 - 284
||285 - 294
1. This is the first report
by the Government of the Azerbaijan Republic to the Committee against
Torture, prepared and submitted in accordance with article 19, paragraph
1, of the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel,
Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment adopted on 10 December
2. The initial report discusses
the legislative, administrative, judicial and other measures taken by
Azerbaijan to give effect to the Convention.
3. The report on the implementation
of the Convention has been compiled by a working group established pursuant
to Presidential Order No. 873 of 19 August 1998. It is based on information
provided by the Supreme Court, the Office of the Procurator of the Republic,
the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry
of National Security, the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, other
competent State authorities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
4. The Azerbaijan Republic
acceded to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or
Degrading Treatment or Punishment, adopted at New York by General Assembly
resolution 39/46 of 10 December 1984 and entering into force on 26 June
1987 in accordance with article 27 (1) (hereafter referred to as "the
Convention"), by virtue of the adoption of Act No. 103-IQ by the Milli
Mejlis (Parliament) of the Azerbaijan Republic on 31 May 1996. The Act
was signed into law by the President.
5. The instrument of accession
to the Convention (No. 108 dated 5 July 1996) was signed by the Minister
for Foreign Affairs and deposited with the Secretary-General of the
6. The Convention came into
force in the Azerbaijan Republic on 15 September 1996.
7. Azerbaijan has thus completed
all the formalities stipulated by international and internal law.
8. Article 12, paragraph
1, of the Constitution of the Azerbaijan Republic (hereafter referred
to as "the Constitution"), which was adopted on 12 November 1995 and
entered into force on 27 November the same year, establishes that the
supreme purpose of the State shall be "to safeguard human and civil
rights and freedoms".
9. Paragraph 2 of the same
article states that "the human and civil rights and freedoms enumerated
in this Constitution shall be exercised in accordance with the international
agreements to which the Azerbaijan Republic is a party".
10. Article 7, paragraph
2, establishes that "in internal matters, State power in the Azerbaijan
Republic is limited by the law alone, and in external matters, solely
by the international agreements to which the Azerbaijan Republic is
11. Article 148, paragraph
2, of the Constitution states that "international agreements to which
the Azerbaijan Republic is a party are an integral part of the legal
system of the Azerbaijan Republic"; accordingly, article 151 stipulates
that "when inconsistencies arise between regulatory instruments within
the legal system of the Azerbaijan Republic (excluding the Constitution
of the Azerbaijan Republic and instruments adopted by referendum) and
international agreements to which the Azerbaijan Republic is a party,
the international agreements shall apply".
12. In conformity with the
principle enshrined in article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 10
December 1948, that "no one shall be subjected to torture or cruel,
inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment", Azerbaijan has acceded
to, and thereby assumed commitments under, a number of international
human rights instruments, notably the following instrument which forbids
torture and similar forms of treatment:
- The International Covenant
on Civil and Political Rights, adopted by the General Assembly at New
York on 16 December 1966, to which Azerbaijan acceded by virtue of Decision
No. 227 of the Milli Mejlis (Parliament) dated 21 July 1992. Article
7 of the Covenant stipulates that "no one shall be subjected to torture
or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In particular,
no one shall be subjected without his free consent to medical or scientific
II. INFORMATION RELATING TO EACH OF THE ARTICLES IN
PART I OF THE CONVENTION
Definition of torture
13. Article 1, paragraph
1, of the Convention defines "torture" as "any act by which severe pain
or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted
on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person
information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third
person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating
or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination
of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation
of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other
person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering
arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions".
14. Article 1, paragraph
1, of the Convention does not stipulate that State parties should take
any specific measures.
15. The purpose of article
1, paragraph 1, is essentially to define "torture" for the purposes
of the Convention by specifying which acts fall within its scope.
16. At the present time
Azerbaijani internal law does not contain a definition of "torture"
such as provided for in article 1, paragraph 1, of the Convention.
17. It should be noted that,
in accordance with the Constitution and the status of international
legal instruments in Azerbaijani internal law, the definition of "torture"
in the Convention should be regarded as having been incorporated into
Azerbaijani internal law from the moment the Convention entered into
force in Azerbaijan.
18. The current Criminal
Code of the Azerbaijan Republic does not explicitly make torture, in
the context in which the term is defined in the Convention, a criminal
19. Nevertheless, certain
articles of the Criminal Code do refer to acts and circumstances constituting
offences that encompass the notion of "torture" as defined in the Convention,
namely compulsory expropriation of property (art. 93-6), provocation
resulting in suicide (art. 100), death threats (art. 101), criminal
infliction of bodily harm (arts. 102, 105, 106), beatings and systematic
violence (art. 108), unlawful imprisonment (art. 120), unlawful committal
to a psychiatric hospital (art. 120-2), abuse of authority or official
position (art. 167), action ultra vires (art. 168), prosecution
of a party known to be innocent (art. 174), handing down a judgement,
decision, finding or ruling known to be wrongful (art. 175), intimidation
of a judge or a people's assessor (art. 175-2), knowingly unlawful arrest
or detention (art. 176), coercion to testify (art. 177), coercion or
bribery of accused persons, witnesses, victims, experts or interpreters
(art. 180), abuse of authority, action ultra vires or inaction
by the authorities (art. 255), and mistreatment of prisoners of war
judicial and other measures
20. Each State party
shall take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other
measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction.
21. The Constitutional Act
on the State Independence of the Azerbaijan Republic proclaimed that
on 28 May 1918 the National Council of the Azerbaijan Republic had passed
the Declaration of Independence, thereby reviving the Azerbaijani people's
centuries-old traditions of statehood.
22. During that period Azerbaijan
enjoyed complete political authority within its territory and pursued
independent foreign and domestic policies. Institutions characteristic
of an independent State - the parliament, Government, army and financial
system - were created and began to function.
23. The Azerbaijan Republic
was recognized by many foreign States and established diplomatic relations
24. On 27 and 28 April 1920,
in flagrant violation of international law, Soviet Russia, without declaring
war, moved army units into Azerbaijan and occupied the territory of
the sovereign republic.
25. The occupying power
used force to overthrow the lawfully elected government bodies and put
an end to the independence won at the cost of enormous sacrifices by
the Azerbaijani people.
26. The Treaty on the Formation
of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics of 30 December 1922 was designed
to consolidate this annexation.
27. The outcome of the Azerbaijani
nation's struggle for an independent State was the Declaration on the
Re-establishment of the State Independence of the Azerbaijan Republic,
passed by the Supreme Soviet of the Azerbaijan Republic on 30 August
1991, and the Constitutional Act on the State Independence of the Azerbaijan
Republic passed on 8 October 1991.
28. Following the re-establishment
of independence, Azerbaijan adopted its Constitution by referendum on
12 November 1995; it is currently a party to 116 international conventions.
29. In the Constitution,
the Azerbaijani nation proclaimed its intention to safeguard the democratic
system, establish a civil society, and build a secular law-based State
that guaranteed the rule of law while preserving a commitment to universal
30. To achieve these goals,
Azerbaijan has been working consistently to establish a statutory framework
based on the universal human values deriving from its international
obligations and on the experience of developed countries.
31. Articles 48 and 158
of the Constitution are concerned with safeguarding the fundamental
human and civil rights and freedoms which article 12, paragraph 1, defines
as the supreme purpose of the State.
32. The Constitution enshrines
at the highest legislative level the basic provisions for the protection
of human and civil rights. These provide the basis for the measures
the Azerbaijani authorities are taking to prevent torture and other
illegal acts as defined under article 1, paragraph 1, of the Convention.
33. In accordance with article
24, paragraph 1, of the Constitution, "everyone is from birth endowed
with inviolable, indefeasible and inalienable rights and freedoms".
34. Article 26, paragraph
2, of the Constitution safeguards fundamental human and civil rights
and freedoms by stipulating that "the State shall protect the rights
and freedoms of everyone".
35. Article 31 of the Constitution
prohibits encroachment on anyone's right to life, physical and mental
health, property or home, and outlaws the use of force except as provided
for by law.
36. Article 32, paragraph
1, of the Constitution stipulates that "everyone shall have the right
to personal inviolability".
37. By adopting a new independent
Constitution, the Azerbaijani nation has taken effective legislative
measures to prevent torture in pursuance of its international obligations,
and specifically the Convention. These measures are to be found in article
46 of the Constitution, which establishes that "everyone has the right
to protect his honour and dignity. The State shall safeguard personal
dignity. Nothing shall justify degradation of the individual. No one
shall be tortured or humiliated. No one shall be subjected to degrading
treatment or punishment. No one shall be subjected to medical, scientific
or other experimentation without his free consent".
38. Article 66 of the Constitution
states that "No one shall be compelled to testify against himself or
his (her) spouse, children, parents, brother or sister. A full list
of relatives against whom there shall be no requirement to testify shall
be established by law".
39. Article 71, paragraph
7, of the Constitution stipulates that "disputes concerning human and
civil rights and freedoms shall be settled in the courts".
40. In this connection,
article 125 of the Constitution establishes that "judicial power in
the Azerbaijan Republic shall be exercised solely through the courts.
Judicial power shall be exercised by means of Constitutional, civil
and criminal proceedings and in other forms provided for by law. The
Office of the Procurator of the Azerbaijan Republic shall collaborate
in the administration of justice, except in the case of Constitutional
proceedings. The organization and procedure of the courts shall be established
by law. The use of legal devices not provided for by law to modify the
powers of the courts, and the establishment of special courts, are prohibited".
41. The judicial authorities
of the Azerbaijan Republic operate within the confines established by
the law, in accordance with the Constitution.
42. Anyone is entitled to
seek the assistance of the courts when a State official or other person
acting in an official capacity attempts to infringe an individual's
legally protected rights and freedoms.
43. The Presidential Decree
of 22 February 1998, Measures to Safeguard Human and Civil Rights and
Freedoms, has continued the consolidation of these Constitutional provisions
44. The objective of the
Decree is to continue to promote human and civil rights and freedoms,
consider the possibility of examining and submitting to the President
proposals for Azerbaijan's accession to the United Nations human rights
conventions and other actions in this field.
45. Further to the objectives
of the Decree, on 18 June 1998 the President signed a supplementary
Decree entitled "The State Programme for the Protection of Human Rights".
46. The State Programme
makes provision for Azerbaijan's accession to international human rights
conventions, the establishment of research institutes in this field,
full alignment of regulatory instruments with international human rights
standards, further development of cooperation with international human
rights organizations, and other relevant measures.
47. Here, in addition to
the Constitution and international agreements, account should be taken
of the language in the Criminal Code making torture a crime, prescribing
appropriate punishment, and establishing the remedies to which victims
are entitled (a more detailed account of these is given in paragraphs
95-131 of this report).
48. In keeping with the
thrust of criminal law, as stated in article 20 of the Criminal Code,
the purpose of punishment is not simply to penalize wrongdoing but also
to reform and re-educate criminals and to prevent the commission of
further crimes, whether by convicted criminals or by others.
49. Azerbaijani criminal
law further stipulates that punishment is not intended to cause physical
suffering or degrade the individual.
50. According to article
1 of the Corrective Labour Code, the purpose of Azerbaijan's corrective
labour laws is to enforce sentences for crimes. The article goes on
to state that "the enforcement of sentences is not intended to cause
physical suffering or degrade the individual".
51. Since the Constitution
stipulates that the individual's right to physical and mental inviolability
is an absolute right safeguarded by the State, mention should also be
made of the Public Health Protection Act of 26 June 1997.
52. This Act lays down the
following basic principles governing the protection of public health:
- State protection of citizens'
rights in the field of health care and consequent liability attaching
to legal persons and individuals;
- A policy of preventive
- Social security for people
in failing health.
53. To give effect to these
principles, article 52 of the Act stipulates that "persons graduating
from higher medical training institutions in Azerbaijan with a medical
diploma shall take the Hippocratic oath. Physicians who violate this
oath shall be liable under the procedure established by Azerbaijani
54. Article 57 of the Act
provides that "in the event of injury to health, the parties responsible
shall be obliged to make restitution under the procedure and to the
extent provided for by law. Such restitution shall not relieve medical
workers of disciplinary, administrative or criminal liability under
55. Further to article 46,
paragraph 3, of the Constitution, which stipulates that "no one shall
be subjected to medical, scientific or other experimentation without
his free consent", article 37 of the Act establishes that:
"Due regard being had to
the results of laboratory experiments, State and non-State medical institutions
shall be authorized to conduct biomedical research. Individuals may
be enlisted for biomedical research only with their prior consent.
"When such consent is given,
a citizen must be informed of the purpose, side effects, degree of possible
risk, duration and results of the research.
"Regardless of the stage
the research has reached, a citizen shall have the right to withdraw
at any time.
"The advertisement in the
mass media of treatments, preventive health care, diagnostic services
or medicines which have not been properly evaluated is prohibited."
56. Article 40, paragraph
2, of the Act prohibits coercion into providing organs for transplantation.
57. In addition, chapter
4 of the Act contains language governing artificial interruption of
pregnancy (art. 30), sterilization (art. 31), and in vitro fertilization
and implantation of embryos (chap. 5, art. 29).
58. The Act lays down that
these operations may be performed only with the consent of the person
undergoing the procedure.
59. Azerbaijani law includes
the legal mechanisms necessary to protect citizens against unlawful
acts by officials.
60. Azerbaijani criminal,
criminal procedure, administrative and corrective labour law all contain
language prohibiting the use of force, threats or other unlawful means
to obtain testimony from the accused or other parties to criminal proceedings.
61. Article 133, paragraph
1, of the Constitution establishes that "the Office of the Procurator
of the Azerbaijan Republic shall see to the uniform and proper enforcement
and application of legislation as provided for by law".
62. No exceptional circumstances
whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political
instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification
63. Article 71 of the Constitution
"... it is the duty of the
legislature, the executive and the judiciary to respect and protect
human and civil rights and freedoms as enshrined in the Constitution.
No one may limit the exercise of human and civil rights and freedoms.
Only in the event of a declaration of war, martial law or a state of
emergency, or of mobilization, may the exercise of human and civil rights
and freedoms be partially and temporarily limited, due regard being
had for the international obligations of the Azerbaijan Republic. The
population shall be given timely notice of the rights and freedoms subject
to limitation. No Constitutional provision may be construed as abrogating
human and civil rights or freedoms. Human and civil rights are primary
rights in the territory of the Azerbaijan Republic.
"Disputes concerning human
and civil rights and freedoms shall be settled in the courts. No one
may be held liable for an act which was not considered a breach of the
law at the time it was committed. If a law passed after a crime has
been committed either abolishes or reduces the attendant liability,
the new law shall apply."
64. The provisions of article
71 of the Constitution are regulated by the Martial Law Act.
65. Article 7 of the Act
stipulates that "action taken upon the introduction of martial law shall
entail no limitation of the rights to life, to freedom of thought, conscience
and religion, or to recognition at law that are accepted in international
law, nor the repeal of prohibitions on torture, slavery, slave trading,
or imprisonment merely for failing to fulfil contractual obligations,
on any kind of discrimination against individuals or social groups on
the grounds of race, nationality, sex, language, political views, or
social origin, or on criminal laws making an action a punishable offence
or reducing the punishment therefor with retroactive effect".
66. The State of Emergency
Act also reinforces Constitutional safeguards of human and civil rights
67. Article 19 of the Act
states that "the introduction of a state of emergency shall entail no
limitation of the rights to life or to freedom of thought, conscience
and religion, and no use of torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment
or punishment within the meaning of the International Covenant on Civil
and Political Rights and laws of the Azerbaijan Republic consistent
68. An order from a superior
officer or a public authority may not be invoked in justification of
69. Azerbaijani law contains
the necessary legal mechanisms to protect citizens against unlawful
acts by officials.
70. An order from a superior
officer or a public authority may not be invoked in justification of
torture; moreover, under Azerbaijani law, such acts are crimes and render
the perpetrator liable to criminal prosecution.
71. Article 46 of the Constitution
establishes that "the State shall safeguard personal dignity. Nothing
shall justify degradation of the individual. No one shall be tortured
or humiliated. No one shall be subjected to degrading treatment or punishment".
72. In order to protect
the individual's Constitutional rights and freedoms, article 60 of the
Constitution stipulates that "All shall be guaranteed judicial protection
of their rights and freedoms. Everyone shall have the right to challenge
in a court of law the decisions and actions (or inaction) of State authorities,
political parties, trade unions, and other public associations and officials".
73. To ensure that these
provisions are implemented, article 61 of the Constitution stipulates
that "everyone has the right to seek qualified legal assistance. Everyone
has the right to the assistance of legal counsel the moment he (she)
is arrested, detained or charged with a crime by the competent State
74. To safeguard the rights
and freedoms of the individual, article 63 of the Constitution establishes
the presumption of innocence, stipulating that "everyone has the right
to presumption of innocence. Anyone accused of committing a crime shall
be considered innocent until he is proven guilty as specified by law
and a court sentence to that effect has become enforceable. In the event
of justifiable doubt as to a person's guilt, a judgement of guilty may
not be returned. A person charged with a crime shall not be obliged
to prove his innocence. Evidence obtained in violation of the law may
not be used in the administration of justice. No one may be said to
be guilty of a crime in the absence of a court decision."
75. Article 67 of the Constitution
states that "Anyone who is arrested, detained or accused of committing
a crime by the competent State authorities shall be informed promptly
of his rights and the reasons for his arrest, detention or the proceedings
76. Article 3 of the
Convention stipulates that no State Party shall expel, return (refouler)
or extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds
for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture.
77. Azerbaijani citizenship
is enshrined in article 52 of the Constitution, which states: "Any subject
of the Azerbaijani State, having with that State political and legal
ties and reciprocal rights and responsibilities, is a citizen of the
Azerbaijan Republic. A person born in the Azerbaijan Republic, or to
citizens of the Azerbaijan Republic, is a citizen of the Azerbaijan
Republic. A person one of whose parents is a citizen of the Azerbaijan
Republic is a citizen of the Azerbaijan Republic". Article 53 states
that "a citizen of the Azerbaijan Republic may not under any circumstances
be deprived of his citizenship. A citizen of the Azerbaijan Republic
may not under any circumstances be expelled or extradited to a foreign
State. The Azerbaijan Republic shall ensure the legal defence and protection
of Azerbaijani citizens residing abroad either temporarily or permanently".
78. Article 70 of the Constitution
lays down the basic provisions relating to the granting of and right
to asylum, stating that "in accordance with universally recognized norms
of international law, the Azerbaijan Republic shall grant political
asylum to foreigners and stateless persons. The extradition to another
State of persons persecuted for their political views or acts which
are not considered crimes in the Azerbaijan Republic is not permitted".
79. The legal arrangements
governing extradition in the Azerbaijan Republic are determined by bilateral
and multilateral agreements, specifically the Minsk Convention of 22
January 1993 on the provision of judicial assistance and legal relations
in civil, family and criminal matters, to which all the former Union
Republics of the USSR except the Baltic Republics of Estonia, Latvia
and Lithuania are parties.
80. Extradition matters
are dealt with under section IV, part 1, articles 56-71, of this Convention.
81. All matters concerning
the extradition of citizens, foreigners or stateless persons from Azerbaijan
to a requesting State in connection with the commission of a crime are
dealt with under the inter-State agreements to which Azerbaijan is a
party or, where none exist, on the basis of international legal norms
or an understanding relating to the specific request.
82. Under the Minsk Convention,
a Contracting Party is obliged, upon request from another party, to
extradite persons from its territory so that they may face criminal
proceedings or a sentence may be enforced.
83. A person may be extradited
to face criminal proceedings in respect of acts which are punishable
under the law of both the requesting and requested Parties, and for
which the prescribed punishment is a custodial sentence of at least
one year or a more serious punishment.
84. A person may be extradited
with a view to enforcing a sentence for an act which is punishable under
the law of both the requesting and requested States Parties, and for
which the person has been sentenced to at least six months' imprisonment
or a more serious punishment.
85. No extradition will
take place if:
(a) The person concerned
is a citizen of the requested Contracting Party;
(b) At the time the request
is received, criminal proceedings cannot be brought under the law of
the requested Contracting Party, or the sentence cannot be enforced
because the time limit for enforcement has been exceeded,
or for some other legitimate
(c) The person concerned
has been sentenced for the same offence in the territory of the requested
Contracting Party, or an enforceable decision has been made to terminate
(d) Under the law of the
requesting or requested Contracting Party, the offence is the subject
of a private prosecution (pursuant to an application by the victim).
86. Extradition may be refused
if the offence in question was committed in the territory of the requested
87. Upon receipt of an extradition
request, the requested Contracting Party shall act promptly to take
the person concerned into custody, except in cases where extradition
is not permitted.
88. A person whose extradition
is being sought may also, upon application, be taken into custody prior
to the receipt of an extradition request.
89. The application must
cite a custodial order or enforceable sentence, and indicate that the
extradition request will be forwarded subsequently.
90. A person taken into
custody pending receipt of an extradition request must be released if
the said request is not received within one month of his being taken
91. A person may be taken
into custody without an application if, as established by legislation,
there are grounds for suspecting that he has committed an offence in
the territory of another Contracting Party that would warrant extradition
92. If an extradition request
is not received during the period of detention provided for by law,
the detainee must be released.
93. The other Contracting
Party must be notified when a person has been taken into custody or
detained pending receipt of an extradition request.
94. In accordance with
article 4 of the Convention, each State Party shall ensure that all
acts of torture are offences under its criminal law. The same shall
apply to an attempt to commit torture and to an act by any person which
constitutes complicity or participation in torture.
95. Azerbaijani criminal
law does not contain a specific statutory definition of torture. As
indicated above, however (see paragraphs 18-19 of this report), torture,
attempted torture, and complicity or participation in similar acts are
crimes under the Azerbaijani Criminal Code.
96. Azerbaijani criminal
law is based on a clear definition of what constitutes a crime.
97. Azerbaijani national
legislation is broader in scope than the Convention.
98. Effective measures to
prevent torture as defined in article 1, paragraph 1, of the Convention
can be taken by applying a package of provisions in criminal law.
99. Azerbaijani criminal
law (article 15 of the Criminal Code) makes it an offence to prepare
a crime and to attempt to commit a crime.
100. This article specifies:
"... sorting out or adapting
devices or weapons or otherwise intentionally making ready for the commission
of an offence shall be considered preparation for an offence. Taking
deliberate action with the direct object of committing an offence, the
offence not being consummated for reasons beyond the perpetrator's control,
shall be considered an attempted offence.
"The punishments for preparation
for and attempted offences are laid down in the laws making consummation
of the actions concerned a criminal offence.
"In setting sentences,
the courts shall take into consideration the nature of the acts committed
by the accused and the degree of risk to the public, the degree to which
the criminal intent was accomplished and the reasons why the offence
was not consummated."
101. Likewise, criminal
law makes provision for complicity in a crime, which is defined thus
in article 17 of the Criminal Code:
"Deliberate joint participation
by two or more persons in the commission of an offence shall be considered
and accessories shall be considered accomplices to an offence, together
with the perpetrators.
"A person who directly
commits an offence shall be considered a perpetrator.
"A person who organizes
or directs the commission of an offence shall be considered an organizer.
"A person who urges the
commission of an offence shall be considered an instigator.
"A person who contributes
to the commission of an offence by supplying advice, instructions or
equipment, or by removing obstacles, or who gives a prior undertaking
to conceal a criminal, evidence of a crime, or the proceeds of crime,
shall be considered an accessory.
"The extent and nature
of the participation of each accomplice to an offence must be taken
into consideration by the court when passing sentence."
102. The Criminal Code permits
criminal proceedings to be brought for the acts specified in article
1, paragraph 1, of the Convention when committed by persons in authority.
103. The articles in Azerbaijani
criminal law which overlap with the definition of torture given in article
1, paragraph 1, of the Convention (as indicated in paragraph 19 of this
report) are examined below.
104. Article 168 of the
Criminal Code makes a punishable offence of "action ultra vires,
i.e. deliberate action by an official which manifestly exceeds the rights
and powers legally invested in him, if that action results in substantial
harm to State or public interests or the legally protected rights and
interests of citizens, and action ultra vires accompanied by
violence, the use of weapons, or treatment intended to torment or cause
affront to the victim".
105. Article 100 makes it
a punishable offence "to provoke, through cruelty or systematic degradation,
a person who is materially or otherwise dependant on the accused into
committing suicide or attempting to commit suicide, or to carry out
similar acts against a person who is not in any way dependent on the
106. Under article 101,
it is a punishable offence "to make death threats when there are genuine
grounds for fearing that the threats will be carried out".
107. Article 102 makes it
a punishable offence to inflict "deliberate grievous bodily harm, i.e.
bodily harm which is life-threatening or results in the loss of an organ
or its function, in mental illness or other health problems associated
with the permanent loss of at least one third of a person's capacity
for work, in termination of pregnancy or in permanent facial disfigurement,
or similar conduct resulting in the death of the victim or performed
in a manner akin to torment or systematic violence".
108. Article 105 makes it
a punishable offence to inflict "deliberate moderate bodily harm, not
life-threatening nor having the consequences indicated in article 102,
which yet causes a lasting health problem or results in the permanent
loss of up to one third of a person's capacity for work".
109. Under article 106,
it is a punishable offence to inflict "deliberate actual bodily harm
resulting in a temporary health problem or a minor yet persistent loss
of capacity for work, [or engage in] similar conduct not having the
consequences indicated in paragraph 1 of this article".
110. Article 108 establishes
criminal liability for the "wilful infliction of beatings or other violence
causing physical pain but not health disorders, if a caution, public
reprimand or other public condemnation has previously been handed down
for such conduct, and for systematic beatings or other acts akin to
111. Article 120 prescribes
punishment for "unlawful detention and detention in a manner which endangers
the life or health of the victim, or is accompanied by the infliction
of physical suffering".
112. Under article 120,
paragraph 2, it is a punishable offence "unlawfully to commit a person
known to be sane to a psychiatric hospital".
113. Under Azerbaijani criminal
law, official crimes covered by the definition in the Convention are
also punishable offences.
114. Thus, in chapter 7
of the Criminal Code (Official crimes), article 167 makes a punishable
offence of "abuse of authority or an official position, i.e. the wilful
abuse by an official of his position contrary to the interests of his
service, if the abuse is for personal gain or personal interest and
causes substantial harm to State or public interests or the legally
protected rights and interests of citizens".
The acts covered by article
167 are punishable by a custodial sentence of up to five years, deduction
of salary at source for up to two years, or dismissal.
The punishment for abuse
of authority or official position with serious consequences is a custodial
sentence of up to eight years.
115. Azerbaijani criminal
law defines officials as persons permanently or temporarily occupying
positions associated with managerial or administrative responsibilities
in State or public institutions or corporations, or fulfilling such
responsibilities in the aforesaid corporations or organizations by special
116. Article 168 makes a
punishable offence of "action ultra vires, i.e. deliberate action
by an official which manifestly exceeds the rights and powers legally
invested in him if that action results in substantial harm to State
or public interests or the legally protected rights and interests of
Such acts are punishable
by a custodial sentence of up to five years, deduction of salary at
source for up to two years, or dismissal.
Action ultra vires
accompanied by violence, the use of weapons, or treatment intended to
torment or demean the victim is punishable by a custodial sentence of
up to seven years.
117. The Criminal Code specifies
sentences for offences against justice. These offences are listed in
chapter 8, article 174, which specifies the penalty for the "criminal
prosecution by a person conducting an initial inquiry, an investigator
or a Procurator, for self-seeking or other personal motives, of a party
known to be innocent".
Anyone found guilty of
such an act is liable to a custodial sentence of up to three years.
Such conduct, associated
with an accusation of a particularly dangerous State crime or other
serious offence, or with the fabrication of evidence, renders the guilty
party liable to a custodial sentence of between 3 and 10 years.
118. Article 175 specifies
the punishment for "the handing down by judges, for self-seeking or
other personal motives, of a judgement, decision, finding or ruling
known to be wrongful"; this crime is punishable by a custodial sentence
of between two and five years.
If the consequences of
such conduct are serious, the guilty party is liable to a custodial
sentence of between 5 and 10 years.
119. Article 175, paragraph
2, protects judges and people's assessors by establishing that "death
threats and threats of violence or destruction of property made against
a judge, people's assessor or any member of their immediate families
in connection with the administration of justice by the said judge or
people's assessor shall be punishable by a custodial sentence of up
to two years or by deduction of salary at source for a similar period".
120. Likewise, article 176
states that "knowingly unlawful arrest or detention effected for self-seeking
or other personal motives shall be punishable by a custodial sentence
of up to three years".
121. Article 177 establishes
criminal liability for "coercion to testify during interrogation by
means of threats or other unlawful methods on the part of the person
conducting the initial inquiry or pre-trial investigation, and for similar
conduct associated with the use of violence or the humiliation of the
person under interrogation".
122. Article 180 makes it
a punishable offence to "coerce accused persons, witnesses, victims,
experts or interpreters to give false testimony, false conclusions or
inaccurate translations by threatening them or their immediate families
with death, violence, or destruction of property with a view to perverting
the course of justice, or to make such threats in revenge for earlier
123. The chapter of the
Criminal Code dealing with military offences contains articles holding
senior officers liable for violence against their subordinates, and
for mistreatment of prisoners of war.
124. Article 255, for example,
makes a criminal offence of abuse of authority, action ultra vires
or inaction by a superior officer, i.e. "(a) abuse of authority or official
position, action ultra vires or inaction by a superior officer
or official if performed systematically, for self-seeking motives or
in pursuit of other personal interests, or resulting in substantial
harm; (b) the same conduct when attended by serious consequences, and
the conduct referred to in (a) and (b) above when committed in wartime
under combat conditions".
125. The same article defines
as crimes all acts of violence exhibiting characteristics that conform
to the definition of "torture" given in article 1, paragraph 1, of the
126. Article 263 of the
Criminal Code makes a punishable offence of "ill-treatment of prisoners
of war, either repeatedly or especially harshly, or of injured and wounded
persons, and the negligent discharge of their responsibilities towards
injured and wounded persons by those responsible for their treatment
and care where there is no evidence of a more serious crime".
127. The article states
that "ill-treatment of prisoners of war in the absence of the aggravating
circumstances indicated shall entail application of the Disciplinary
Regulations of the Armed Forces of the Azerbaijan Republic".
128. Azerbaijani criminal
law makes especial cruelty towards or humiliation of victims an aggravating
129. Article 37 of the Criminal
Code stipulates that, when passing sentence, the following shall be
regarded as aggravating circumstances:
1. Existence of a previous
Depending on the nature
of the earlier offence, the court may discount this as an aggravating
2. Commission of an offence
by an organized group;
3. Commission of an offence
for personal gain or other base motives;
3.1 Commission of an offence
out of ethnic or racial hatred or contempt;
4. Commission of an offence
leading to serious consequences;
5. Commission of an offence
against a minor, an old person, or a person in a helpless state;
5.1 Commission of an offence
against a person performing an official or public duty;
6. Incitement of minors
to commit an offence or involvement of minors in the commission of an
7. Commission of an offence
involving especial cruelty towards or humiliation of the victim;
8. Commission of an offence
taking advantage of a public emergency;
9. Commission of an offence
hazardous to the public at large;
10. Commission of a fresh
offence while remanded on bail or during the following year;
11. Commission of an offence
while in an intoxicated state.
Depending on the nature
of the offence, the court may discount this as an aggravating circumstance.
130. It should be noted
that punishment within the meaning of Azerbaijani criminal law, pursuant
to article 20 of the Criminal Code and article 1 of the Corrective Labour
Code, is intended not only to penalize wrongdoing but also to reform
and re-educate criminals and to prevent the commission of further crimes,
whether by convicted criminals or by others.
131. Moreover, under criminal
law, punishment is not intended to cause physical suffering or degrade
Statistical breakdown of enforceable sentences in Azerbaijan,
first six months of 1998
Sentence and relevant
article of Criminal Code
Art. 102 - Wilfully
inflicted grievous bodily harm
Art. 105 - Wilfully
inflicted moderate bodily harm
Art. 106 - Wilfully
inflicted actual bodily harm
Art. 108 - Beatings
and systematic violence
Art. 120 - Unlawful
Art. 177 - Coercion
Art. 180 - Coercion
or bribery of accused persons, witnesses, victims, experts or
Art. 263 - Ill-treatment
of prisoners of war
132. Article 5 of the
Convention deals with the territorial application of criminal law.
133. The Azerbaijan Republic
has established jurisdiction over the offences and situations referred
to in article 4 of the Convention; these matters are covered by legislation,
in particular by articles 4 and 5 of the Criminal Code.
134. Under article 4 of
the Azerbaijani Criminal Code,
"... all persons committing
offences in the territory of the Azerbaijan Republic shall be subject
to criminal proceedings on the basis of this Code.
"The criminal liability
of diplomatic representatives of foreign States and other citizens who
by virtue of existing laws and international agreements are not subject
to prosecution in Azerbaijani courts shall be settled through the diplomatic
channel in the event of their committing offences in the territory of
the Azerbaijan Republic".
135. Article 5 of the Criminal
"Azerbaijani citizens who
commit offences outside the Azerbaijan Republic shall be subject to
criminal proceedings on the basis of this Code if they are subject to
the jurisdiction of, or extradition to, a court in the Azerbaijan Republic.
"Stateless persons in the
Azerbaijan Republic who commit offences outside Azerbaijan shall be
subject to proceedings on the same premise.
"Where a person has been
sentenced abroad for an offence the court may reduce the sentence or
completely excuse the accused from serving it in accordance with Azerbaijani
criminal law and international legal norms.
"Foreigners who commit
offences outside the Azerbaijan Republic shall be subject to proceedings
under Azerbaijani criminal law in the circumstances provided for by
"Whether foreigners should
be extradited from Azerbaijan to a requesting State in connection with
the commission of a crime shall be determined under the inter-State
agreements to which the Azerbaijan Republic is a party or, where such
do not exist, on the basis of international law or an understanding
reached on a specific request."
136. In Azerbaijani law,
extraterritoriality with regard to the matters raised in the Convention
is covered inter alia by the Aviation Code.
137. Article 3 of this Code
"... the Aviation Code
of the Azerbaijan Republic shall apply to:
"1. All civil aircraft
within the borders of the Republic;
"2. All Azerbaijani civil
aircraft outside Azerbaijan, unless the law of the country where the
aircraft is situated provides otherwise;
"3. Flights by civil aircraft
through Azerbaijani airspace.
"Flights by military aircraft
shall conform to the rules on flight instructions drawn up and approved
by the competent authorities in conjunction with the State civil aviation
138. Article 4 of the Aviation
Code establishes that "an aircraft belongs to the State where it is
139. Also with regard to
the extraterritorial application of Azerbaijani law, it should be noted
that the USSR Code of Merchant Marine is still in force in Azerbaijan.
140. Article 11 of the latter
"... the regulations in
this Code shall apply:
"-To maritime vessels navigating
on seas, rivers, lakes, reservoirs and other watercourses, insofar as
no ad hoc law or agreement between the Azerbaijan Republic and other
States specifies otherwise;
"-To inland navigation vessels
travelling on maritime routes, or on rivers, lakes, reservoirs and other
watercourses, for the purpose of transporting cargo and putting in at
a foreign seaport, or in the circumstances provided for by articles
252 and 260 of this Code".
141. Article 59 of the Code
"... in the event that an
offence under Azerbaijani law is committed on board a vessel under way
in the territory where the vessel's port of registration is situated,
the captain shall serve as the authority conducting the initial inquiry,
guided in this task by Azerbaijani criminal procedure law and the instructions
on the conduct of initial inquiries aboard maritime vessels under way.
"In the event that an offence
committed on board a vessel in an Azerbaijani port and the vessel is
registered in an Azerbaijani port, the captain shall hand over the culprit
to the local authorities."
142. Article 6 of the Criminal
Code also has some bearing on the application of extraterritoriality
in Azerbaijani law. This article states:
"The criminal nature of,
and punishment for, a given act shall be determined by the law in force
at the time the act was committed.
"A law that abolishes an
offence and the punishment for it, reduces the punishment or otherwise
alleviates the position of a person who has committed the offence concerned
shall have retroactive effect.
"A law that establishes
an offence and punishment for it, stiffens the punishment or otherwise
aggravates the position of a person who has committed the offence concerned
shall not have retroactive effect."
143. Article 6 of the
Convention provides that any State Party in whose territory a person
alleged to have committed any offence under the Convention is present
shall take him into custody or take other legal measures to ensure his
presence. The custody and other legal measures shall be as provided
in the law of that State.
144. Azerbaijan has separate
provisions governing the custody of persons suspected of committing
offences under the Convention, depending on whether they are detained
for prosecution or extradition purposes.
145. Detention for the
purpose of extradition
Azerbaijani criminal law
permits detention for the purpose of extradition if there is a provision
to that effect in any international convention or treaty in force in
146. Extradition is regulated
by the bilateral and multilateral treaties to which the Republic is
a party, notably the Minsk Convention of 22 January 1993 on the provision
of judicial assistance and legal relations in civil, family and criminal
matters, to which all the former Republics of the USSR except the Baltic
Republics of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia are parties.
147. Extradition issues
are also governed by section IV, part I, articles 56-71, of the Minsk
Convention (see above, article 3, paragraphs 79-93).
148. Detention for the
purpose of prosecution
Detention for the purpose
of criminal prosecution is regulated by articles 28, 61 and 67 of the
Constitution and by the Code of Criminal Procedure.
149. Article 28 of the Constitution
provides as follows: "Everyone shall have the right to freedom. The
right to freedom may be restricted by detention, arrest or imprisonment
only as prescribed by law."
150. Everyone, from the
moment of being detained, arrested or charged with a crime by the competent
organs of the State, has the right to the assistance of defence counsel"
(article 61, paragraph 3, of the Constitution).
151. Anyone who is detained,
arrested or accused of a crime by the competent State authorities shall
be promptly informed of his rights and the reasons for his detention
or arrest and the proceedings against him" (article 67 of the Constitution).
152. The authority conducting
an initial inquiry may take into custody, before charges are brought,
a person suspected of an offence punishable by imprisonment only where
one of the following conditions applies:
1. The person has been
caught while or directly after committing the offence (in flagrante
2. Eye-witnesses, including
victims, have directly identified that person as the culprit;
3. Clear evidence of the
offence is found on the suspect or his clothing, in his possession,
or at his home.
Where there are other grounds
for suspecting a person of having committed an offence, that person
may be detained only if he has tried to escape, he has no permanent
place of abode, or his identity cannot be established (article 119 of
the Code of Criminal Procedure).
153. Any detention of a
suspect must be reported in writing within 24 hours by the authority
making the initial inquiry to the Procurator.
Within 48 hours of receiving
notification of the detention, the procurator must issue a detention
order or release the detainee (article 122 of the Code of Criminal Procedure).
154. Pre-trial detention
Pre-trial detention is
governed by chapter 36, section 10, articles 427-445 of the Code of
Criminal Procedure (hereafter "the Code").
155. Article 427 of the
Code provides as follows: "Pre-trial detention under criminal procedural
law is a preventive measure taken against an accused, defendant or suspect
in a crime punishable by imprisonment under the law."
156. Azerbaijani legislation
on pre-trial detention is designed to establish rules for the holding,
in places of pre-trial detention, of persons taken into custody in order
to preclude the possibility of their escaping prosecution and trial,
obstructing the establishment of the truth in a criminal case, or engaging
in criminal activity, or to ensure execution of sentence (article 428
of the Code of Criminal Procedure).
157. Pre-trial detention
can be imposed by decision of the investigator or person conducting
an initial inquiry with the approval of the procurator; by decision
of the procurator; or by a court to apply custody as a preventive measure
in accordance with Azerbaijani criminal and criminal procedural law
(article 429 of the Code).
158. With reference to article
6, paragraphs 3 and 4, of the Convention, we consider it necessary to
point out that under article 93 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the
detention or arrest of foreign nationals and stateless persons must
be immediately notified to the appropriate authorities. The Azerbaijan
Republic is a party to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of
24 April 1963, to which it acceded by decision No. 224 of the Milli
Mejlis (Parliament) dated 21 July 1992. Article 36, paragraph 1 (b),
of that Convention provides as follows:
"If he so requests, the
competent authorities of the receiving State, shall, without delay,
inform the consular post of the sending State if, within its consular
district, a national of that State is arrested or committed to prison
or to custody pending trial or is detained in any other manner. Any
communication addressed to the consular post by the person arrested,
in prison, custody or detention shall also be forwarded by the said
authorities without delay. The said authorities shall inform the person
concerned without delay of his rights under this subparagraph."
Paragraph 1 (c) reads:
"Consular officers shall
have the right to visit a national of the sending State who is in prison,
custody or detention, to converse and correspond with him and to arrange
for his legal representation. They shall also have the right to visit
any national of the sending State who is in prison, custody or detention
in their district in pursuance of a judgement. Nevertheless consular
officers shall refrain from taking action on behalf of a national who
is in prison, custody or detention if he expressly opposes such action."
159. The obligation to notify
other States Parties to the Convention of all acts of detention and
to report the results of the pre-trial investigation is complied with
insofar as it is compatible with obligations deriving, inter alia,
from the duty to protect privacy under the Constitution (article 32
on personal inviolability) and international treaties such as the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 19 December 1966.
160. Pursuant to article
7 of the Convention, in the event of a refusal to extradite, the requesting
State must forward all materials necessary in order to institute or
continue criminal proceedings against the person in respect of whom
the request for extradition was made in connection with the acts which
motivated the request.
161. It follows that if
Azerbaijan rejects a request for extradition, it must institute criminal
proceedings against the person concerned in accordance with the principle
"aut dedere, aut judicare".
162. Under article 72 of
the Minsk Convention of 22 January 1993, each Contracting Party undertakes,
at the request of another Contracting Party, to bring criminal proceedings
under its laws against any of its citizens suspected of having committed
a crime in the territory of the requesting Contracting Party.
163. If the crime in connection
with which the action is brought gives rise to civil law claims from
individuals who have suffered in consequence, those claims, where there
exists a request for compensation, shall be considered as part of the
164. The prosecution case
and any evidence at the disposal of the requesting Party must be appended
to the request for criminal proceedings.
165. Consequently, if Azerbaijan
rejects a request for extradition, the Party whose request has been
refused can submit a request for criminal proceedings, appending to
it the prosecution case and evidence, and Azerbaijan will be obliged
to initiate criminal proceedings against one of its own citizens.
166. In such a case, the
procedural rights of the accused as guaranteed by the Constitution and
the law are fully respected. The Convention requires no exception to
the general rules in force in this area.
167. Under article 3 of
the Code of Criminal Procedure, the judge, the procurator, the investigator
and entity conducting the initial inquiry are obliged, within the limits
of their competence, to bring a criminal action whenever indicia of
a crime are found; to do everything the law requires to establish what
actually took place; and to identify and punish the culprits.
168. The language governing
the institution of criminal proceedings is to be found in section 2,
chapter 10, of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
169. Under article 133 of
the Constitution and article 41 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the
Office of the Procurator, as prescribed by law, sees to the uniform
and proper enforcement and application of the law; institutes criminal
proceedings and conducts inquiries as specified by law; supports the
prosecution in court; and enters objections to court decisions.
170. That the obligations
set forth in article 7, paragraphs 2 and 3, of the Convention will be
respected is guaranteed by the requirement of equality set forth in
article 25 of the Constitution ("Everyone shall be equal before the
law and the courts").
171. According to article
8 of the Convention, the crimes involving torture referred to in article
4 of the Convention must be included [as extraditable offences] in any
extradition treaty existing or to be concluded between States Parties.
172. As already stated in
connection with article 3 of the Convention, extradition arrangements
are regulated in Azerbaijan by articles 53 and 70 of the Constitution
and by the bilateral and multilateral treaties to which Azerbaijan is
a party (for more detail, see paragraphs 77-93 of this report).
173. The acts referred to
in the Convention are not deemed to be political crimes.
174. In the light of its
national law and international obligations under the Convention, Azerbaijan
may be said to comply with article 8, paragraphs 3 and 4, of the Convention.
175. Article 9 of the
Convention provides for international judicial assistance in matters
of criminal law.
176. As pointed out in connection
with the question of extradition, international judicial assistance
in matters of criminal law is regulated by treaties between States (for
more detail, see paragraphs 77-93 on article 3 and paragraphs 159-164
on article 7).
177. It should be noted
that Azerbaijan has to date concluded the following treaties which provide
for the widest possible cooperation in criminal proceedings:
1. Treaties with the Russian
Federation on legal assistance and legal relations in civil, family
and criminal cases, and on the transfer of convicted persons to serve
their terms of punishment;
2. A treaty with Ukraine
on the transfer of convicted persons to serve their terms of punishment;
3. A treaty with Georgia
on legal assistance and legal relations in civil, family and criminal
4. Treaties with Kazakhstan
on legal assistance and legal relations in civil law cases, and on the
transfer of convicted persons to serve their terms of punishment;
5. Treaties with Uzbekistan
on legal assistance and legal relations in civil, family and criminal
cases, and on the transfer of convicted persons to serve their terms
6. Treaties with Kyrgystan
on legal assistance and legal relations in civil, family and criminal
cases, and on the transfer of convicted persons to serve their terms
7. A treaty with Turkey
on mutual assistance and legal relations in matters of civil, trade
and criminal law;
8. Treaties with Bulgaria
on extradition and on legal assistance in criminal cases;
9. Treaties with the Islamic
Republic of Iran on extradition, on the transfer of convicted persons
to serve their terms of punishment, and on legal assistance.
178. Azerbaijan has also
acceded to the Convention on the provision of judicial assistance and
legal relations in civil, family and criminal matters signed at Minsk
on 22 January 1993.
179. The Ministry of Justice
is currently working on similar treaties with other States.
180. Azerbaijan can thus
be said to comply with its obligation under the Convention to afford
"the greatest measure of assistance" to other States Parties in accordance
with existing treaties on mutual judicial assistance.
181. Article 10 of the
Convention requires each State Party to include education and information
regarding the prohibition against torture in the training of law enforcement
personnel, civil or military, medical personnel, public officials and
other persons who may be involved in the custody, interrogation or treatment
of any individual subjected to any form of arrest, detention or imprisonment.
182. Professional training,
information and alerting the public to the problem of torture and other
cruel, inhuman or degrading forms of treatment are of the greatest importance
in the effective prevention of such practices.
183. In Azerbaijan, persons
training for the relevant professions are instructed in the prohibition
184. A variety of institutions
engaged in publishing, public information, training and education in
the field of human rights also seek to draw public attention to this
185. Mention should be made
here of the important contribution by the President of the Republic
in the field of public information on human rights.
186. On 16 April 1998, the
President signed an order on the commemoration in the Azerbaijan Republic
of the fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
187. Pursuant to that order,
Azerbaijan is planning seminars on human rights for representatives
of non-governmental organizations and the mass media; television and
radio broadcasts on the protection of human rights; textbooks on human
rights for higher and secondary educational establishments; the circulation
over the Internet of information on human rights in Azerbaijan; and
188. It should be noted
that special courses on the observance of human rights and freedoms
in the work of law enforcement agencies have been developed and are
being taught, and international documents on the subject are being studied,
at training establishments run by the Ministry of Internal Affairs as
part of the service training system.
189. In training syllabuses
for members of the police, special attention is devoted to the need
for humane treatment of suspects and detainees.
190. The Ministry of Internal
Affairs now has its own university-level academy, the Police Academy,
to train police officers and provide courses for high-level command
and administrative staff as well as for retraining and professional
upgrading of staff who have completed only their basic education. In
the syllabuses for such courses, especially in subjects such as law,
the humanities and professional ethics, the topics of human rights and
other fundamental rights, freedoms and guarantees are given pride of
191. Special services operate
within the Ministry of Internal Affairs to monitor compliance with the
law and service discipline.
192. Threats, violence or
other illegal acts degrading to accused persons and others render the
staff responsible subject to disciplinary proceedings.
193. Where such conduct
is tantamount to a criminal offence, the matter is investigated and
referred to the courts.
194. Article 11 of the
Convention provides that each State Party shall keep under systematic
review interrogation rules, instructions, methods and practices as well
as arrangements for the custody and treatment of persons subjected to
any form of arrest, detention or imprisonment in any territory under
its jurisdiction, with a view to preventing any cases of torture.
195. Under Azerbaijani law,
the use of torture is punishable under criminal or disciplinary procedures.
Compliance with legal standards is monitored in an effective and purpose-oriented
manner by a variety of institutions.
196. The right to bring
Under article 60 of the
Constitution, all persons are guaranteed judicial protection of their
rights and freedoms. Everyone has the right to challenge in a court
of law the decisions and actions (or inaction) of State authorities,
political parties, trade unions, and other public associations and officials.
197. Pursuant to these Constitutional
provisions, the Citizens' Applications (procedure for consideration)
Act of 10 June 1997 provides in article 5 that government authorities,
institutions, organizations and enterprises must, in accordance with
procedures defined by the Constitution and the law, ensure that Azerbaijani
citizens are able to exercise their right to submit proposals orally
or in writing and to lodge applications or bring complaints against
incorrect actions (or lack of action) on the part of officials.
198. The Corrective Labour
Code contains language governing how individuals are to be kept and
treated while under arrest, in detention or in prison.
199. Article 1 of the Code
establishes that the purpose of corrective labour legislation is to
ensure that criminal penalties do not merely penalize wrongdoing but
also reform and re-educate criminals.
200. Procedures and conditions
governing the serving of sentence, the imposition of corrective labour
on persons sentenced to imprisonment, exile, deportation or deduction
of salary at source without imprisonment, the activities of establishments
and authorities responsible for the execution of such sentences, and
the part played by society in the correction and re-education of convicted
persons, are set forth in the Corrective Labour Code and other laws
(article 2 of the Code).
201. Only a court sentence
which has duly entered into force constitutes grounds for the execution
of a criminal penalty or the imposition of corrective labour (article
4 of the Code).
202. At the same time, article
131 of the Code provides that "cruel, inhuman or degrading conduct,
or failure to take appropriate steps against such conduct, is incompatible
with employment in the penitentiary service".
203. Furthermore, the Code
specifies that the staff of corrective labour establishments shall be
held answerable for their actions. Article 132 states: "A member of
the staff of a corrective labour establishment who commits or condones
cruel, inhuman or degrading acts shall be held criminally and administratively
liable under Azerbaijani law. If administrative steps have previously
been taken against a staff member for conduct of this kind, he or she
shall be dismissed from the corrective labour service."
204. Strict compliance with
the law in the execution of sentences of imprisonment, exile, deportation
or corrective labour without imprisonment is supervised by the Procurator-General
and his staff in accordance with the Office of the Procurator Act (article
11 of the Corrective Labour Code).
205. Substantial steps to
improve conditions of imprisonment and to extend the rights of convicted
persons within the penitentiary system have been taken at Ministry of
Justice corrective labour establishments in the past few years.
206. In 1993, Azerbaijan
became the first country in the Commonwealth of Independent States to
transfer responsibility for the enforcement of criminal penalties from
the Ministry of Internal Affairs to the Ministry of Justice.
207. With a view to bringing
the law into line with international standards, United Nations conventions
and European Union recommendations, the Milli Mejlis on 7 February 1997
passed an Act, the Corrective Labour Code. The Act provides for the
following substantial improvements in the conditions in which convicted
persons are held within the penitentiary system:
1. In the field of human
(a) Visits from representatives
of the mass media and of public and international organizations, lawyers,
relatives and friends;
(b) Celebration of religious
rites; medical services; changes of penitentiary regime;
2. In the field of improved
conditions of imprisonment:
(a) The amount of money
a prisoner may spend on food and basic necessities is increased:
1. For "general regime"
prisoners: to twice the minimum wage;
2. For "intensive regime"
prisoners: to the equivalent of one minimum wage;
3. For "strict regime"
prisoners: to the equivalent of one minimum wage.
(b) The number of visits
allowed per year is increased, as follows:
1. "General regime": short
visits, increased from 3 to 48; long visits, from 2 to 4;
2. "Intensive regime":
short visits, from 2 to 24; long visits, from 2 to 3;
3. "Strict regime": short
visits, from 2 to 12; long visits, from 1 to 2.
(c) The number of parcels
(including those delivered by hand or by book post) allowed per year
is increased as follows:
1. "General regime": from
3 to 48;
2. "Intensive regime":
from 2 to 24;
3. "Strict regime": from
1 to 12.
208. Subject to good conduct
and a conscientious attitude to work, a prisoner may be granted improved
conditions of detention after serving not less than one third of the
sentence (general regime), one half (intensive regime) or two thirds
209. In this event, the
prisoner, depending on the regime, may spend a still greater amount
of money on food and may receive still more visits and parcels.
210. Convicts serving sentence
in a corrective labour or general regime colony are allowed to leave
the colony for a period of annual furlough.
211. In addition, under
the law in force, convicted persons, depending on the gravity of their
crimes and the length of their sentences, may obtain a change of regime
by judicial decision after serving one third, one half or two thirds
of the sentence, as follows:
- They may be given early
release on parole;
- They may be released on
parole, subject to an obligation to work outside the corrective labour
- They may be transferred
to a "colony settlement" with the right to reside in separate rented
accommodation with their families and to travel freely within the administrative
area where the settlement is situated.
212. There are approximately
16,500 convicts (235 per 100,000 inhabitants of Azerbaijan) serving
sentences in corrective labour establishments of all three categories
(general, intensive and strict).
213. In terms of numbers
of convicts per 100,000 inhabitants, Azerbaijan ranks among the lowest
in the Commonwealth of Independent States.
214. Every year since 1995,
convicted offenders have been released from punishment in Azerbaijan
by Presidential pardons and by amnesties ordered by the Milli Mejlis
215. The following have
been granted Presidential pardons:
In 1995: 1,207 persons;
In 1996: 328 persons;
In 1997: 165 persons;
In the first half of 1998:
The numbers released under
amnesties proclaimed by Parliament are as follows:
In 1996: 8,723;
In 1997: 3,107;
In 1998: 7,715.
216. Thus it may be seen
that the State takes a humane attitude to persons who have committed
socially dangerous acts.
217. In the year and a half
following the promulgation of the Act of 7 February 1997 amending the
Corrective Labour Code, all the provisions intended to improve prisoners'
living conditions and expand their rights were put into effect by the
Government and, in particular, the Ministry of Justice, despite the
country's difficult economic situation.
218. All these changes took
place with direct input from international, governmental and non-governmental
organizations, which regularly visit the Republic's corrective labour
219. Today, prisoners in
corrective labour establishments are provided with all necessary facilities
for the celebration of religious rites, for telephone contact with all
their relatives and friends, and for receiving a secondary, special
secondary or higher education.
220. In addition, convicted
persons are granted short-term leave to visit relatives on personal
221. The role of the
Under the Office of the
Procurator Act, the Procurator-General of the Azerbaijan Republic and
his Office's Execution of Sentences Supervisory Division regularly monitor
compliance with the law in places of imprisonment and in the enforcement
of penalties not entailing imprisonment or other compulsory measures.
222. In monitoring compliance
with the law on behalf of the State, the Procurator must take steps
to discover and to eliminate in good time any violations of the law,
by whomever committed, restore rights that have been violated and bring
the perpetrators to justice in accordance with the law (article 11 of
the Corrective Labour Code).
223. The Supervisory Division
holds monthly "surgeries" for prisoners in each corrective labour establishment
under its control, receives applications and complaints in writing,
and checks whether prisoners have been lawfully assigned to solitary
confinement as a punishment for breaches of the prison rules.
224. Pre-trial detention
is defined in criminal procedural law as a preventive measure taken
against an accused, or defendant or suspect in a crime punishable by
imprisonment (such matters are regulated by section 10, chapter 36,
articles 427 to 445, of the Code of Criminal Procedure).
225. The procedure governing
pre-trial detention is laid down in the Regulations on pre-trial detention.
This procedure also extends
to persons in custody who have been convicted but whose sentences have
not yet become enforceable.
Where individuals in pre-trial
detention are held in a remand centre for up to 72 hours, they are covered
by the Regulations on short-term detention of persons suspected of a
Persons taken into custody
may not be kept in detainee holding areas for longer than 72 hours.
If they cannot be transferred to a remand centre because of distance
or lack of suitable means of transport, they may be kept in detainee
holding areas for up to 10 days (article 427 of the Code of Criminal
226. The following may serve
as grounds for pre-trial detention: a decision by the investigator or
person conducting an initial inquiry with the approval of the procurator;
a decision of the procurator; or a court decision or determination to
apply custody as a preventive measure in accordance with Azerbaijani
criminal and criminal procedure law (article 429 of the Code of Criminal
227. Article 12 of the
Convention requires each State Party to ensure that its competent authorities
proceed to a prompt and impartial investigation, wherever there is reasonable
ground to believe that an act of torture has been committed in any territory
under its jurisdiction.
228. In Azerbaijan, the
authorities whose competence extends to the issues covered by the Convention
are the following:
(i) The courts of the Azerbaijan
(ii) The Office of the
(iii) The national security
(iv) The internal affairs
229. The right to bring
All victims of cruel treatment,
abuse of authority or excessive use of coercive measures have the right
to bring complaints, which the authorities are obliged to accept.
230. On the basis of article
57 of the Constitution, citizens of Azerbaijan have the right to apply
in person or to submit individual or collective applications in writing
to government authorities. A reply in writing must be given to each
application in accordance with the procedure and within the time limits
established by law.
Citizens have the right
to criticize the activities and quality of work of government authorities
and officials, political parties, trade unions, other public associations
and individual citizens. Persecution for criticism is prohibited.
231. Article 60 of the Constitution
guarantees judicial protection of everyone's rights and freedoms. Everyone
has the right to challenge in a court of law the decisions and actions
(or inaction) of State authorities, political parties, trade unions,
and other public associations and officials.
232. Under article 61, everyone
has the right to qualified legal assistance. The article specifies that
everyone has the right to the assistance of legal counsel from the moment
he (or she) is detained, arrested or charged with a crime by the competent
233. Article 5 of the Citizens'
Applications (procedure for consideration) Act of 10 June 1997 stipulates
that government authorities, institutions, organizations and enterprises
must, in accordance with the procedure defined by the Constitution and
the law, ensure citizens are able to exercise their right to submit
proposals or applications orally or in writing and to bring complaints
against incorrect actions (or lack of action) on the part of officials.
institutions, organizations and enterprises, their chiefs and other
officials are in duty bound to accept citizens' proposals, applications
and complaints and, within the limits of their authority and according
to the procedures and within the time limits defined by the Act, to
consider and answer them and take appropriate action.
234. Article 11 of the Act
provides that "Government authorities and chiefs of enterprises, institutions
and organizations shall be responsible for accepting and considering
citizens' proposals, applications and complaints. Officials found guilty
of infringing the established procedure for the consideration of citizens'
proposals, applications and complaints or of persecuting citizens for
bringing complaints or for the criticisms contained therein, shall be
held administratively, civilly or criminally liable as prescribed by
235. Police organs
The Ministry of Internal
Affairs has a special personnel division which investigates members
of the police who commit or condone illegal acts against citizens.
236. For example, in the
Khanlar police district, one member was dismissed from Ministry service
and four received disciplinary punishment during the first six months
of 1998 for infringing citizens' rights and freedoms.
237. The Ministry also has
a complaints and registration section, which receives complaints and
applications from citizens.
Disciplinary punishments within Ministry of Internal Affairs
Indicators of the
disciplinary situation within Ministry of Internal Affairs organs
to citizens' complaints and applications
on adverse grounds
238. Disciplinary punishments
of warders at penitentiary establishments
Under the Office of the
Procurator Act, the Procurator and the Supervisory Division regularly
conduct general and specific checks at corrective labour establishments.
239. Where such checks reveal
that infringements have occurred, steps are taken to remedy them and
the officials responsible are held to account.
240. As a result of such
checks, 6 officials were disciplined in 1997 and 15 in the first half
Also in the first half
of 1998, one official faced criminal proceedings and was eventually
convicted of bribe-taking.
Three persons subjected
to disciplinary penalties in 1997 and one in the first half of 1998
had their punishments annulled as illegal.
241. However, checks by
the Procurator have not revealed any cases of torture or cruel and inhuman
treatment of convicted persons on the part of corrective labour establishment
staff, with the exception of one act of degrading treatment.
242. The Supervisory Division
received 278 complaints and applications from convicted persons and
their relatives in 1997, and 188 complaints in the first half of 1998.
243. Most of these cases
were settled directly by the Office of the Procurator, which took appropriate
action in response and replied to the applicants in writing.
244. In 1997, for example,
K.B. Ismailov, a warder at Corrective Labour Colony No. 11 of the Ministry
of Justice's Central Directorate for the Execution of Court Decisions,
caused minor bodily harm to a convict with whom he was not on good terms.
The Office of the Procurator brought criminal proceedings, and Ismailov
was eventually sentenced to three years' imprisonment by the Binagadin
district court in Baku.
245. Article 13 of the
Convention requires each State party to ensure that any individual who
alleges he has been subjected to torture has the right to complain to,
and to have his case promptly and impartially examined by, its competent
246. The State requires
its competent authorities to conduct prompt and impartial investigations,
both parties being provided with extensive legal safeguards.
247. Under article 60 of
the Constitution, everyone's rights and freedoms before the courts are
guaranteed. Everyone can challenge in a court of law the decisions and
actions (or inaction) of State authorities, political parties, trade
unions, and other public associations and officials.
248. In particular, article
104, "Motives and grounds for instituting criminal proceedings", of
the Code of Criminal Procedure lists complaints by citizens among the
motives for bringing a criminal action.
249. Article 105, "Criminal
proceedings instituted solely on the basis of a victim's complaint",
contains a list of crimes in connection with which criminal proceedings
can be instituted solely on the basis of a victim's complaint, including
proceedings under articles 106 and 108 (1) (for further details, see
paragraphs 109 and 110 of this report relating to article 4 of the Convention).
250. We believe we should
describe the implementation of article 13 of the Convention by the Ministry
of National Security, the government authority within whose competence
the matters covered by the Convention fall.
251. The matters covered
by the Convention are dealt with at the Ministry by the Department of
Investigations and the remand centre.
252. During the period 1997-1998,
no cases consistent with the definition of "torture" given in article
1 (1) of the Convention occurred in any unit of the Ministry of National
253. Over the past five
years the Department of Investigations has not investigated criminal
cases relating to crimes consistent with the definition of torture given
in article 1, paragraph 1, of the Convention because, under the law,
such crimes do not fall within its competence.
254. No cases involving
acts referred to article 1, paragraph 1, of the Convention have occurred
in the course of investigations conducted by Department staff.
255. Strict compliance with
the law in the investigation of criminal cases features in the annual
work plans and is regularly discussed on advanced professional training
256. No reports of conduct
capable of causing pain or physical or mental suffering during interrogations
have been received by the Department of Investigations from the Ministry
administration or other senior authorities. The inadmissibility of such
acts has been pointed out on repeated occasions.
257. At the same time, it
should be noted that the Department has received complaints of the use
of physical and mental pressure by interrogators and police force members,
at various periods, from certain accused persons (in particular, Ramazanov
Avyaz Agababa ogly, Agayev Rassim Gusein ogly and Agalarov Mirzali Ali
258. These complaints have
been carefully checked on each occasion, but the reported facts have
not been confirmed and the complaints have been dismissed as unfounded.
259. On the subject of action
taken by Azerbaijan in recent years to prevent inhuman or degrading
forms of treatment or punishment, note should be taken of the Act of
10 February 1998 abolishing the death penalty.
260. The Presidential Decree
of 22 February 1998 on steps to ensure the enjoyment of human and civil
rights and freedoms, together with other measures in the same field,
requires law enforcement organs to take steps to improve the conditions
in which persons serving sentences of imprisonment and in pre-trial
detention are held.
261. The Ministry of National
Security's remand centre is run in strict compliance with the laws in
force and with the USSR Committee on State Security (KGB) Instructions
on the organization of service in remand centres.
262. How arrested persons
are held in the remand centre, and whether their detention is legal,
is checked monthly by staff of the department in the Office of the Procurator
overseeing law enforcement in national security organs and the armed
forces; the situation overall is in conformity with requirements.
263. The only complaint
received during the period 1997-1998 was from Guseinov Suryat Davud
ogly, a detainee in the remand centre, and one of his defence counsel,
Arif Shammamedov, claiming that centre staff were exerting mental pressure
on Guseinov using radio equipment, insulting him and his relatives over
the radio, injecting some kind of gases into his cell and placing a
dead dog in front of the door to his cell.
264. These statements by
Guseinov and his counsel were carefully checked in April 1998 by a commission
set up for the purpose, whose members included members of the Military
Procurator's Office, experts from a radio factory and doctors from the
Sabaïl district epidemiological department in Baku; Guseinov's second
defence counsel, the lawyer Vyacheslav Kalinikovich Tsynbal, attended
265. None of the facts alleged
in Guseinov's statement was confirmed and the lawyer Tsynbal, Guseinov's
defence counsel, stated in the presence of all members of the commission
that he was satisfied with the manner in which his client was being
held in the centre and had no claim to make against the staff in that
266. Article 14 of the
Convention provides that each State Party shall ensure in its legal
system that a victim of an act of torture obtains redress and has an
enforceable right to fair and adequate compensation including the means
for as full rehabilitation as possible.
267. Article 68 of the Constitution
sets forth the right to demand compensation for damage in the following
"1. The rights of a person
who has been a victim of a crime or of abuse of power shall be protected
by law. A victim shall have the right to participate in court proceedings
and to claim compensation for damage caused.
"2. Everyone shall have
the right to receive compensation from the State for damage caused as
a result of unlawful acts or failure to act on the part of government
authorities or officials."
Azerbaijani law provides
for different ways in which victims of violence can receive compensation.
The general rule in this respect is to be found in the Civil Code, which
provides that a party which, intentionally or by negligence, causes
damage to another party must make restitution for the damage done.
268. Civil liability
for a crime
Article 135 of the Code
of Criminal Procedure states:
"The investigator must
explain to an individual who has suffered material damage as a result
of a crime, or to his representative, his right to bring a civil action
against the accused.
"Such explanation shall
be given either orally, mention thereof being made in the transcript
of the victim's interrogation, or in the form of a written statement,
a copy of which shall be placed on the file.
"If a victim brings a civil
action, the investigator must issue a decision accepting or rejecting
the victim as a civil plaintiff. The investigator's decision shall be
made known to the person bringing the action.
"An appeal against the
investigator's decision to reject a victim as a civil plaintiff may
be lodged with the procurator."
The investigator is entitled,
upon application by a civil plaintiff or on his own initiative, to take
steps in furtherance of a civil action that has been or may be brought
in connection with a criminal case, having issued a decision to that
effect (article 136 of the Code of Criminal Procedure).
269. In the event of a civil
action being brought, the investigator must ascertain who bears material
liability. If, by law, material liability is borne not by the accused
but by other persons, enterprises, institutions or organizations, the
investigator must in his decision cite them as civil respondents, inform
them of this decision, and explain their rights to them (article 137
of the Code of Criminal Procedure).
270. In cases involving
a crime for which the Criminal Code prescribes confiscation of property,
the investigator must take steps to ensure the execution of any sentence
ordering confiscation of property, having issued a decision to that
effect (article 138 of the Code of Criminal Procedure).
271. In furtherance of a
civil action or possible confiscation of property, the investigator
must distrain the property of the accused or suspect, those liable at
law for the actions of the accused or suspect, or such other persons
as are in possession of property acquired by criminal means.
Distraint of property may
be cancelled by decision of the investigator should it become unnecessary
(article 139 of the Code of Criminal Procedure).
272. If criminal proceedings
are discontinued because no crime has been committed, because there
was no criminal element in the act committed, or because there is no
proof of a citizen's involvement in the crime, or if the court returns
a judgement of acquittal, the entity conducting the initial inquiry,
the investigator, the procurator and the court must explain to the citizen
the procedure for restitution of his rights and make restitution, as
provided by law, for the damage caused by his wrongful conviction, prosecution
and/or pre-trial detention. The conditions and procedure governing compensation
are determined by law (article 21, paragraph 1, of the Code of Criminal
Compensation for victims
273. The obligations arising
out of injury are specified in Chapter 42, articles 442-467, of the
274. A party causing injury
to a citizen, a citizen's property, or an organization, is liable for
full compensation of the injury caused.
A party causing injury
is released from the liability to compensate if it can prove that the
injury was not its fault.
Compensation for injury
caused by lawful acts is payable only in the cases specified by law
(article 442 of the Civil Code).
275. An organization must
make restitution for injuries caused through the fault of its employees
in the exercise of their duties (article 443 of the Civil Code).
276. All government institutions
bear equal liability for injuries caused to individual citizens by incorrect
administrative actions on the part of their officials (articles 442
and 443 of the Civil Code) unless otherwise provided in ad hoc legislation.
They may be held liable for injuries caused by their officials to organizations
as provided by law.
In the event of injury
caused by incorrect actions on the part of officials in the entities
conducting initial inquiries, the Procurator's Office or the courts,
the relevant authority bears liability in the circumstances and within
the limits specified by law (article 444 of the Civil Code).
277. Parties that jointly
cause injury are jointly liable to their victims (article 452 of the
278. The Civil Code includes
the following articles:
Article 456 "Compensation
for injury to health";
Article 457 "Responsibility
for injuring the health or causing the death of a citizen for whom the
party responsible is obliged to pay insurance premiums";
Article 458 "Responsibility
for injuring the health or causing the death of a citizen for whom the
party responsible is not obliged to pay insurance premiums";
Article 459 "Compensation
for damage involving injury to the health of a citizen not in receipt
of an allowance or pension";
Article 461 "Compensation
in the event of injury to the health of a citizen not subject to social
Article 462 "Compensation
in the event of injury to the health of a citizen below the age of 15
Article 467 "Compensation
of funeral expenses".
279. Article 15 of the
Convention specifies that each State Party shall ensure that any statement
which is established to have been made as a result of torture shall
not be invoked as evidence in any proceedings, except against a person
accused of torture as evidence that the statement was made.
280. Appropriate provision
has been made at the highest level of Azerbaijani legislation to prohibit
the use of evidence in violation of the law.
281. Article 63 of the Constitution
"1. Everyone has the right
to presumption of innocence. Anyone accused of committing a crime shall
be considered innocent until he is proven guilty as specified by law
and a court decision to that effect has become enforceable.
"2. In the event of justifiable
doubt as to a person's guilt, a verdict of guilty may not be returned.
"3. A person charged with
a crime shall not be obliged to prove his innocence.
"4. Evidence obtained in
violation of the law may not be used in the administration of justice.
"5. No one may be said to
be guilty of a crime in the absence of a court decision."
282. Article 64 of the Code
of Criminal Procedure stipulates:
"The evidence in criminal
cases comprises any factual data on the basis of which the entity conducting
the initial inquiry, the investigator and the court determine whether
or not a socially dangerous act has been committed, whether the person
committing such an act is culpable, and other matters having a bearing
on the proper handling of the case.
"Such data shall be established
by means of witnesses' testimony, the testimony of the victim, of the
suspect, and of the accused, expert findings, material evidence, the
official records of the investigative and judicial proceedings, and
283. Article 177 of the
Penal Code relates to offences against justice, and calls for punishment
for "coercion to give evidence, i.e. coercion to give evidence under
interrogation by means of threats of violence or other illegal actions
on the part of the person conducting the interrogation or preliminary
investigation, or the same actions combined with the use of violence
or humiliation of the individual undergoing interrogation".
284. Reference must also
be made to article 180 of the Penal Code, which makes it a punishable
offence to "coerce accused persons, witnesses, victims, experts or interpreters
to give false testimony, false conclusions or inaccurate translations
by threatening them or their immediate families with death, violence,
or destruction of property with a view to perverting the course of justice,
or to make such threats in revenge for earlier testimony". It is a punishable
offence to "suborn the said persons into giving false evidence, findings
or wrong translations".
285. Article 16 of the
Convention seeks an undertaking from every State Party to prevent in
any territory under its jurisdiction other acts of cruel, inhuman or
degrading treatment or punishment which do not amount to torture as
defined in article 1, when such acts are committed by or at the instigation
of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other
person acting in an official capacity.
286. The same punishment
is applicable in Azerbaijan to other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment
or punishment as to torture. Hence what has been said above about torture
generally relates to this matter as well. The obligations stated in
articles 10, 11, 12 and 13 of the Convention apply under the same conditions.
287. Azerbaijani legislation
prohibits any conduct that could be described as cruel, inhuman or degrading.
288. In the case of actions
by State bodies not subject to criminal liability, disciplinary action
is taken against the authorities responsible for overseeing their activities.
289. It should be pointed
out that there is a certain similarity between part 1, article 16, of
the Convention and International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention
29, the Convention concerning Forced or Compulsory Labour 1930, which
Azerbaijan has ratified along with other international agreements.
290. It is also important
to stress that under the ILO Charter, Azerbaijan reports annually to
the International Labour Office on its compliance in national practice
with the conventions and recommendations it has ratified.
291. Another important ILO
Convention, No. 105, the Convention concerning the Abolition of Forced
Labour 1957, is now before the appropriate authorities for consideration
with a view to ratification.
292. Under the Azerbaijani
Constitution (art. 35), no one may be forced to perform labour. Assignment
to forced labour may be permitted on the basis of a court decision:
the conditions and duration are prescribed by law. Individuals may be
required to perform labour pursuant to the orders of those in authority
while in military service, and citizens may be required to do specified
kinds of work during states of emergency or martial law.
293. Under article 8 of
the Individual Labour Agreements (Contracts) Act of 21 May 1996, forced
labour, i.e. coercion to perform labour by means of violence or threats
of punishment, whether under the pretext of improving work discipline
or otherwise, is prohibited. Those guilty of imposing forced labour
on a worker are held to account as prescribed by law. Paragraph 2 of
the same article of the Act permits forced labour in the case of tasks
carried out under the supervision of the appropriate State authorities
in accordance with current legislation in the event of the declaration
of martial law or a state of emergency, or in execution of an enforceable
294. Article 36 of the Act
states: "Individuals guilty of violating workers' labour rights as specified
in this Act shall be liable to disciplinary and criminal proceedings
as established by law."