Tag - Baku 2015 Games ( 1 )

News | “Azerbaijani activists must be freed before the Baku 2015 Games” – UN expert

Jun 02 2015

GENEVA – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Michel Forst, today criticised the “relentless prosecution and repression of prominent rights activists in Azerbaijan” and called for their immediate release ahead of the inaugural European Games in Baku which begin on 12 June. “As preparations were in full swing for the Baku Games, the Azerbaijani authorities stepped up their efforts to harass, jail, and surveil human rights defenders, as well as ban them from travel and freeze their assets,” the independent expert said. “Such unjustifiable criminalization has been usually justified with trumped-up or politically-motivated charges of state treason, illegal entrepreneurship, tax evasion and abuse of office,” Mr. Forst said. “As a result, most Azerbaijani defenders have had to endure prolonged pre-trial detention, imprisonment or exile.” The UN expert drew special attention to the cases of Intigam Aliyev and Khadija Ismail for documenting cases of political prisoners; Anar Mammadli, Bashir Suleymanli and Elnur Mammadov for monitoring the presidential elections in October 2013; Leyla Yunus and her husband, Arif, for criticising the government; and Rasul Jafarov for organising the “Sport for Rights” initiative during the Baku Games to... Continue reading →