UPDATED: Human rights lawyer Intigam Aliyev sentenced to pre-trial detention in Azerbaijan
Continuing its crackdown against civil society, the authorities in Azerbaijan today sentenced the human rights lawyer Intigam Aliyev to 3-months pre-trial detention, a few days after sentencing human rights defenders Leyla Yunus, her husband Arif Yunus and Rasul Jafarov.
Sunday, 10 August 2014, by Human Rights House Foundation (HRHF)
Intigam AliyevLeader of the Legal Education Society, Intigam Aliyev was sentenced on 8 August 2014 to pre-trial detention for 3 months on the same charges as those held against Rasul Jafarov, of tax evasion (article 213 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan), illegal business (article 192) and abuse of authority (article 308.2).
In a statement disseminated on 10 August 2014 by his lawyer, Intigam Aliyev underlines “ his detention was connected with his activity as human rights defender, and the purpose of this is to silence him down, based on a political instruction from above.”
Leyla Yunus and Arif Yunus were both arrested on 30 July 2014 and she was sentenced to 3 months pre-trial detention. Along with the accusation of treason, Leyla Yunus is also facing similar charges as those held against Rasul Jafarov. Later, on 5 August, Arif Yunus was also sentenced to 3 months pre-trial detention. On 26 May 2014, Anar Mammadli and Bashir Suleymanli were sentenced to respectively 5 years and 6 months imprisonment and 3 years and 6 months on the same charges as those held against Rasul Jafarov.
“We extend our call for the immediate and unconditional release of all human rights defenders to Intigam Aliyev” said Maria Dahle, Executive Director of the Human Rights House Foundation.
The arrest of Intigam Aliyev is hence a step further in the persecution of human rights defenders in Azerbaijan, based solely on their work and their critics of the government. The right to freedom of association is indeed at the heart of the charges held against human rights defenders.
Intigam Aliyev being arrested on 26 January 2013 at a demonstration in Baku (Azerbaijan)
Intigam Aliyev receiving People in Need Homo Homini Award on 7 March 2013 from Karel Schwarzenberg, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic
(© People in Need)Intigam Aliyev is a lawyer specializing on political rights and freedoms with up to twenty years of experience in the field of human rights in Azerbaijan. Intigam Aliyev is a prominent human rights lawyer
and the president of the Legal Education Society, an independent Azerbaijani non-governmental organisation, founded in 1998 and aimed at achieving the development of legal consciousness and legal culture in the society of Azerbaijan. The organisation is engaged in defense of human rights, preparation of strategic litigation cases, training of lawyers and human rights education.
On 4 Mach 2013 People in Need awarded Intigam Aliyev with its Homo Homini human rights award, for his personal courage and exceptional committment to defending persecuted individuals.
Human Rights House Foundation (HRHF)
HRHN joint letter to President Ilham Aliyev
64 NGOs from 13 Human Rights Houses call upon the Azerbaijani authorities, in a joint letter to President Ilham Aliyev on 5 August 2014, before Intigam Aliyev was also sentenced, to immediately and unconditionally release Leyla Yunus, Arif Yunus, Rasul Jafarov, and lift all charges held against them. We see this pre-trial detention of Leyla Yunus, Arif Yunus and Rasul Jafarov as a way to silence them. We also repeat our previous call to release Anar Mammadli and Bashir Suleymanli, and join calls for the release of Hasan Huseynli.