“The trial regarding the disbarment of Alaif Hasanov is of concern for lawyers across the whole Commonwealth of Independent States region, where many human rights lawyers have unfortunately been targeted and disbarred for their work, stated Liudmila Ulyashyna, Manager of HRHN’s International Law in Advocacy (ILIA) Program.
“It is essential that lawyers and human rights defenders act jointly to increase public awareness of the professional guaranties, immunities, and basic principles that safeguard the work of human rights lawyers, and that legal professionals and the international community challenge authorities when they do not respect these protections.”
“Hasanov has himself observed that the courts behave differently when international trial monitors are present and a trial receives international attention. We must continue to monitor and raise awareness of these human rights lawyers who are targeted for their work,” Ulyashyna continued.
Hasanov was expelled from the Bar without a court decision. He will now get a decision on his disbarment from the administrative and economic court.
HRHN’s team of human rights lawyers will continue to monitor and report on Hasanov’s case.
Alaif Hasanov is an Azerbaijani human rights lawyer. He was sentenced to 240 hours’ public service for defamation in November 2014, after unveiling details of physical pressure exerted against his client human rights defender Leyla Yunus by her cellmate Nuriya Huseynova in September 2014.
Alaif alleges that the authorities used Huseynova to deprive him of the opportunity to defend Leyla Yunus, and that he is being punished for defending political prisoners.
Significantly, in July 2015, the Presidium of the Bar Association used this sentence as grounds to expel Alaif Hasanov from the Bar, depriving him of his right to practice in the legal profession. Hasanov was not invited to take part in the discussion of his case, nor was he even informed about it. He learned about the Presidium´s decision via mass media.
Human Rights House Network’s report Human Rights Lawyers at Risk details the case against Hasanov, as well as cases of other human rights lawyers persecuted for their work.
Hasanov is an alumni of Human Rights House Network’s International Law in Advocacy (ILIA) program.