Updated list of political prisoners in Azerbaijan

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Click to view the full list.

A new list of political prisoners in Azerbaijan has just been published. The list now comprises of 80 names, as compared to the 98 which were included in the list published in August last year. In April 2015, the report was updated; the names of the released political prisoners were removed from the list, as well as those new prisoners, who were arrested after the list of 98 political prisoners was prepared, were included in the report.

This report contains a list of cases of those currently detained or imprisoned on politically motivated charges. The list has been drawn up according to the criteria set out in PACE Resolution No. 1900, from 3 October 2012.

To compile this report, a series of consultations were conducted with local human rights defenders who: 1) studied relevant reports of local and international human rights organizations; 2) examined documents from influential international organizations that Azerbaijan is member of, and has commitments to – in particular, the Council of Europe; 3) monitored the press; 4) monitored court cases; 5) examined court verdicts and other legal documents; 5) and interviewed the families, lawyers, and defense committees of the political prisoners included in this report.

The report provides detailed information about each of the political prisoners, including the facts and circumstances of their arrests, political motivations, and photos. (Photos were not available for every prisoner.)

Cases included in the report are divided into seven categories:

  1. Journalists and bloggers
  2. Human rights defenders
  3. Youth activists
  4. Politicians
  5. Religious activists
  6. Life term prisoners
  7. Other cases

The last three categories are divided into subcategories, which are detailed in the report.

Via Norwegian Helsinki Committe

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Demonstrations near embassies of Azerbaijan to demand release of Political Prisoners

Protests against repressive policy of Azerbaijani ruling regime continue in different countries. On November 17th demonstrations asking freedom for political prisoners in Azerbaijan organized near embassies to Brussels, Warsaw and London.

Demonstration in Brussels organized by Friends of the IDF (FIDF) – Central Region, International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR), Civic Solidarity Platform, Front Line Defenders and others:

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Another protest was organized by Helsińska Fundacja Praw Człowieka near Azerbaijani embassy to Warsaw:

(Photos © Julia Maria Koszewska)

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And the protest with candles according to number of political prisoners was organized by Index on Censorship, Platform London and others near embassy in London:

(Photos © Ramute Remezaite)

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Azerbaijani Political Prisoners received Sakharov Freedom Award

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The Norwegian Helsinki Committee awarded The Andrei Sakharov Freedom Award in 2014 to Political Prisoners in Azerbaijan. On 13 November Azerbaijani civil society representatives, family members of Political Prisoners received the award at ceremony in Oslo.

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How to support Leyla Yunus, Rasul Jafarov and Intiqam Aliyev for Sakharov Prize 2014?

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Azerbaijan is a member of the Council of Europe, and therefore bound by the European Convention on Human Rights. In May 2014, Azerbaijan assumed the chairmanship of the organization. However, despite this, the Azerbaijani authorities have recently unleashed an unprecedented wave of repression, targeting opposition politicians, journalists, civil society representatives, and human rights defenders.

Today, human rights activists such as Leyla Yunus, Rasul Jafarov and Intiqam Aliyev stand for the many who are defending basic human rights and European values in Azerbaijan and who are subject to repression and imprisonment for doing so.

By awarding them the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize in 2014 the European Parliament would send a strong signal to a region vital to Europe, at a moment when courageous human rights defenders are needed more than ever.

How the Sakharov Prize 2014 is awarded?

In the next 10 days, the nominations of the Sakharov Prize for Human Rights will be decided by the European Parliament. The prize is awarded to “honour exceptional individuals who combat intolerance, fanaticism and oppression.”

Previous winners include Nelson Mandela, Reporters without Borders and Anatoli Marchenko. If you believe that Azerbaijani human rights defenders – who are now in jail following years of work on behalf of the rights of others, and most recently on a list of political prisoners in Azerbaijan (on which they are now included) – then let the MEPs who vote on this know.

Nominations for the Sakharov Prize can be made by:
-Political groups in the European Parliament.
Or
-At least 40 MEPs.

The deadline for nominations is Monday 18 September at 12:00 in Strasbourg.

How to support these three?

Gerald Knaus from European Stability Initiative (ESI) writes, “This is hard work, lots of letters and emails and phone calls and meetings yet to be held. And arguments to make why Azerbaijani human rights defenders today deserve this more than other very worthy causes. But it can be done and they deserve it! Anyone who wants to send personal emails explaining why this would be a good idea please do so: MEPs need to get a sense that this is important, crucial even, at this very moment. Each email should ask whether the MEP is willing to support these three for the prize (as a group, representing the courageous human rights community in the country now under siege). If any MEP writes back and say yes, please let us know: g.knaus@esiweb.org.”

Please don’t forget to mention ongoing crackdown and repressions againist civil society in Azerbaijan.

Click to contact your MEP.

Rasul Jafarov was arrested

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-Another prominent rights defender has been arrested in Azerbaijan.

Rasul Jafarov was detained during the morning of August 2 on suspicion of tax evasion, illegal entrepreneurship, and abuse of authority.

Baku’s Nasimi Court ordered Jafarov held for three months while the investigation into charges against him is conducted.

Jafarov had already been subjected to a foreign travel ban.

Jafarov’s arrest comes three days after prominent rights defender Leyla Yunus was detained and, along with her husband Arif, charged with treason, tax evasion, and illegal entrepreneurship.

He is board member of “Respublican Alternative” and chairman of “Human Rights Club”.

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