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Startseite Urgent Actions 2020 06 Psychiatric detention for criticizing the president Azerbaijan
UA 104/20
Abgeschlossen am 1. Juli 2020
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01.07.2020: Good news

We have been informed that opposition activist Agil Humbatov was just released from the psychiatric hospital. Also, we received positive feedback about the impact of the Urgent Action.

We will be sharing more information shortly, but in the meantime, thanks so much to all those who took action and contributed to this positive result.

Psychiatric detention for criticizing the president Azerbaijan

AI-Index: EUR 55/2550/2020

Opposition activist Agil Humbatov has been held in psychiatric detention in Baku, Azerbaijan’s capital, and injected with unknown drugs without his consent since 2 April after he criticised the authorities’ handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. On 2 June, his forced hospitalization was extended for another month. Agil Humbatov has been arbitrarily deprived of his liberty and must be freed immediately.


Arbitrary detentions of government critics are commonplace in Azerbaijan. Numerous activists, opposition members, journalists and human rights defenders have been prosecuted for merely exercising their rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly, and detained and imprisoned under politically motivated charges.

Recently, the Azerbaijani authorities have used the COVID-19 pandemic as a pretext to lock up a growing number of their critics. On 19 March, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev announced «new rules» for the duration of the Covid-19 pandemic, and promised to «clean up» Azerbaijan’s political opposition, which he called traitors and «the fifth column». ( Arrests of high-profile political activists and human rights defenders under spurious charges have followed the President’s pronouncement, including the arrest of opposition activist Tofig Yagublu on charges of hooliganism ( and human rights defender Elchin Mammad on charges of theft (

More than a dozen individuals, comprising of political activists, journalists, human rights defenders and others who dared to criticize the authorities’ handling of the pandemic have been detained and remanded in so-called administrative detention for periods ranging from 10 to 30 days on bogus charges, including disobeying police orders or breaking the rules of lockdown. (

As the arrests and politically motivated prosecution of critics continue, Azerbaijan remains closed to scrutiny from independent human rights monitors, including Amnesty International, who have been denied access to the country for several years.

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