Azerbaijan: arrests of human rights activists continue

2014 2014-08-04T15:45:54+0300 2014-08-04T15:45:54+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Azerbaijani human rights activist Rasul Jafarov

Azerbaijani human rights activist Rasul Jafarov

Rasul Jafarov, founder and chairman of the Human Rights Club Rasul Jafarov, was arrested in Baku on August 2.

The human rights activist is charged with tax evasion, illegal business and power abuse. Baku's Nasimi Court ordered his arrest for three months.

July 25 this year, Azerbaijani Prosecutor General's Office prohibited him to leave the country and arrested his bank accounts. Mr. Jafarov appealed the actions of the Prosecutor General's Office in court.

Pursuing human rights work since 2006, Rasul Jafarov is the coordinator of several high-profile campaigns, including "Sing for Democracy", which was timed to Eurovision 2012 contest in Azerbaijan and attracted considerable international attention to human rights violations in the country, has been expanded and renamed as "Art for Democracy"; and "Initiative for On-line Expression," which became a platform for monitoring and protection of the freedom of the Internet.

According to an Internet resource, during the last session of the PACE Rasul Jafarov and several other human rights activists made a report on the issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan. Last month, during a sitting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE in Baku, they also held a public hearing on the issues of civil society. Both events have generated a backlash of the official Baku. The authorities have been enraged by the PACE decision to appoint a special rapporteur on political prisoners in Azerbaijan.

Bear in mind that on July 30 in Baku prominent human rights activist, director of the Institute for Peace and Democracy Leyla Yunus was arrested on charges of treason, tax evasion and illegal entrepreneurship. May 26, 2014 Chairman of the election monitoring and democracy training center Anar Mammadli was sentenced to 5.5 years in prison on charges of tax evasion, illegal entrepreneurship and abuse of power.