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Press-release by the Media Service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs








On February 3, 2005 Lieutenant General Ramil Ussubov, the Minister of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan met a delegation headed by Mr.Christian Strohal, the Director of the OSCE  Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.

Cordially greeting the guests the Minister presented Mr.Strohal substantial information on the scope of human rights activities undertaken at the MIA agencies since November 2003 onwards. Further developments in the field of that humanization of criminal legislation, legislative reforms oriented to human values and aimed at better advocacy of human rights and freedoms, as well as promotion of democratic legislation among the personnel were emphasized. Special courses? Training programs and workshops had been arranged at the Police Academy in the framework of Cooperation Program with the OSCE and the Council of Europe. Importance of such events from the standpoint of democratic trends and for upgrading present-day police training was highly valued by international experts.

Mr. R.Ussubov also mentioned a number of institutional steps recently undertaken within the Ministry during the period reported  with a view to harmonizing activities of the MIA agencies with democratic principles and international standards. This included foundation of the new units, such as Internal Security Department and Department for Combating Traffic in Human Beings.

Meanwhile Minister Ussubov admitted that despite all the efforts aimed at further promotion of democratic developments in policing there are still of violations of human rights committed by various police officers during execution of their official duties. Some of  maltreatment cases have a gravity of criminal offences. This was the reason why 188 police officers were held liable for  brutal violations of human rights during the period of 2003-2004. Out of them 2 persons were arrested, 9 were held criminally liable, 5 got convicted and 25 officers fired.

Mr.Christian Strohal, Director of the ODIHR, expressed his satisfaction with the reforms conducted in the Ministry during the period reported and reiterated importance reliable mechanism for prevention and elimination of any forms of violence and misdemeanor.

The parties agreed upon arranging expert meetings to better identify spheres for future cooperation.