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Startseite Urgent Actions 2012 06 Azeri activist: Charges must be dropped New charges against prisoner of conscience
FI 168/12-1
Azerbaijan
Abgeschlossen am 20. Februar 2019
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04.03.2019: Released

Prisoner of conscience Mehman Huseynov was released on 2 March as his two years of imprisonment on trumped up charges ended.

In January 2019 he was charged with new criminal charges as the authorities were trying to extend his stay behind bars. As a result of domestic and international pressure (including the UA many of you supported), the authorities dropped the new charges clearing the way for his release this weekend.

We will issue a formal update as soon as possible, but in the meantime, thanks so much to those who took action in support of Mehman.

 

22.01.2019: Latest

The Prosecutor's office has dropped the new charges instigated against Mehman Huseynov at the end of December 2018. He has not been immediately released, however, as he will still have to serve the remaining months of his current sentence; he is due to be released in March 2019.  Please continue calling for his immediate and unconditional release. He is a prisoner of conscience who should never have been prosecuted and convicted.​​​

New charges against prisoner of conscience

AI-Index: EUR 55/9651/2019

On 26 December 2018, the Azerbaijani authorities brought new criminal charges against prisoner of conscience Mehman Huseynov, just as his current jail term nears to an end. The prominent journalist has been charged with assault for allegedly attacking an inspector at the detention centre. Mehman Huseynov denies the accusation. On 26 December 2018, he went on a hunger strike in protest of the new criminal charges and there are now grave concerns for his health which has been reported by his lawyer as ‘critical’. If convicted, Mehman Huseynov could face up to seven more years in jail. He must be immediately and unconditionally released.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

According to Mehman Huseynov’s lawyer, prison officials have attempted several times since August 2018 to provoke Mehman Huseynov into a conflict with prison staff. His lawyer claims that it was clear that there was a plan in place to keep him in jail on new criminal charges.
Mehman Huseynov is a popular journalist and blogger in Azerbaijan who is known for his journalistic work on alleged corruption on the part of senior Azerbaijani officials. In March 2017, a Baku court sentenced Mehman Huseynov to two years in prison on charges of defaming an entire police station, after he gave a statement in front of the courthouse in which he described the abuses he had suffered at that police station. He referred to the time when a group of plain-clothes officers attacked Mehman Huseynov on January 2017, blindfolded and gagged him with towels, forced a bag over his head and took him to the Nasimi district police station, where police used an electroshock weapon on his groin, and punched him, bloodying his nose.
For years, Amnesty International has been documenting human rights violations in Azerbaijan. The rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly have been severely restricted and many journalists, human rights defenders and other activists have faced harassment, unjust prosecution under false charges and have been arbitrarily detained following unfair trials. According to Azerbaijani human rights defenders, in 2018, around 100 individuals remained in prison following arrest under politically motivated charges, and the number of such cases continues to grow. This practise has repercussions throughout civil society, creating a climate of fear and self-censorship.
As the arrests and politically motivated prosecution of critics continue unabated, Azerbaijan remains closed to human rights scrutiny. International human rights monitors, including Amnesty International, continue to be denied access to the country.

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