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Azerbaijan

Image: HRHN Trial Monitoring: Rasul Jafarov appeal rejected

HRHN Trial Monitoring: Rasul Jafarov appeal rejected

On 16 February, Azerbaijan supreme court rejects cassation appeal and upholds sentence of the imprisoned human rights defender Rasul Jafarov.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016, by Human Rights House Network

"It is very disappointing that the Supreme Court is not stepping up to affirm that arbitrary detention cannot continue, and that Rasul Jafarov, as well as other detained human rights defenders in Azerbaijan, must be released" commented HRHN Head of Advocacy Florian Irminger. 

"One must simply witness a court hearing in Azerbaijan to understand that there is little justice to be found for Human Rights Defenders. Rasul Jafarov is not sentenced for wrong-doing, but for voicing human rights and democracy. For that, the authorities want him and other civil society leaders behind bars".

Trial monitors reported:

"Jafarov appeared in high spirits; he was smiling and talked to the audience, telling stories about his childhood football games. He did not say anything officially at the court hearing.” 

Rasul Jafarov is a well-known and respected human rights defender in Azerbaijan. He founded the organisation Human Rights Club and became known internationally through the Sing for Democracy campaign, which drew attention to the human rights situation in Azerbaijan during the 2012 Eurovision contest held in the country. Rasul was detained in August 2014. In April 2015, he was sentenced to six and a half years in prison.

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