"We decided to maintain the mission to Azerbaijan knowing that the human rights situation is not really good… We are going to observe several elections — elections in Ukraine, in Turkey, in Belarus, in Kyrgyzstan, and we are also going up observe the elections in Azerbaijan," Brasseur said.
The PACE chief also stressed that the decision to observe the elections in the country had been widely debated by the assembly.
"We can't have a separation between human rights and election process, because in order to have true democracy, human rights must be respected and that is not the case in Azerbaijan for the moment. I hope this mission will help us in order to bring our message to the Azeri authorities and say they have to fulfill their commitments," Brasseur noted.
Various human rights groups, including Amnesty International, have repeatedly accused the Azerbaijan authorities of systematic human rights violations, including the unlawful detention of reporters and political activists.