Azerbaijani youth activist released
The Azerbaijani blogger and youth activist Bakhtiyar Hajiyev was released Monday, one year after he was imprisoned on political grounds.
Monday, 04 June 2012
Azerbaijani authorities have released the prominent youth activist Bakhtiyar Hajiyev nine months before the end of a two-year jail term he was ordered to serve soon after helping to organize an antigovernment demonstration.
Integam Aliyev (left) outside the court building in Baku, on the 21st of May 2012 after the court hearing of Hajiyevs case. Photo: Amund Trellevik, Human Rights House FoundationIn May 2011, Bakhtiyar Hajiyev, Azerbaijani blogger and youth activist, was sentenced to two years imprisonment on charges of evading military service.
The Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan, however, provides its citizens with a right to alternative service, which Bakhtiyar Hajiyev intended to exercise, refusing the official call for military service.
"I am happy that Bakhtiyar has been set free. But I am not willing to recognize the courts nor the governments efforts in relation to this decision. I do, as stated earlier, regard the arrest of Bakhtiyar Gadshiev, as with other conscience prisoners, as a political decision", says Ingegam Aliyev, a human rights lawyer and the head of the Legal Education Society, partner of the Azerbaijan Human Rights House.
- NO INDEPENDENT COURT SYSTEM
Together with partners from the Human Rights Club, Legal Education Society and Human Rights Watch, the Human Rights House Foundation observed the hearing in the appeal court Monday 22nd of May 2012.
The week before, HRHF met with the support group of Bakhtiyar Hajiyev led by Integam Aliyev.
After this meeting, HRHF issued an appeal to the Azerbaijani authorities and call upon them to release Bakhtyar and other persons imprisoned, because of their involvement in the mobilization of the peaceful protests in spring 2011.
Human Rights House Foundation also believes that the imprisonment of Bakhtiyar Hajiyev are a clear retaliation against him for exercising his freedom of expression, and did call upon his release.
"What happened in this case, yet an other time affirms that this country has no independent court system, and that this system is completely dependent to the political conjectures".
"However, I do regard it my duty to thank the Azerbajanian society, the international community and everyone who has contributed and continues to make every possible and impossible effort to set Bakhtiyar and other conscience prisoners free", says Integam Aliyev.
HRHF did consider Bakhtiyar Hajiyev to be yet another victim of an increasing pressure and growing persecution of critical voices, including activists using social networks and peaceful protesters in Azerbaijan.
Statement on Bakhtiyar Hajiyev
- Read the statement made by Human Rights House Foundation on Bakhtiyar Hajiyev and other political prisoners in Azerbaijan
For further information and interviews with local Azerbaijani human rights activists, contact
Ane Tusvik Bonde
Regional Manager, Caucasus and Eastern Europe
Mob.: +47 99 74 39 07
Information and Communication Officer
Mob.: +47 414 40 565