Intigam Aliyev To Be Released From Prison
Prominent human rights lawyer Intigam Aliyev, who has been imprisoned in Azerbaijan since 2014, was expected to be released on March 28 after his jail term was changed to a suspended sentence.
The award-winning activist was arrested in August 2014 and convicted of illegal business activity, tax evasion, abuse of authority, and other charges in April 2015.
On March 28, Azerbaijan's Supreme Court changed Aliyev's 7 1/2-year jail term to a five-year suspended sentence.
Aliyev has always denied the charges as politically motivated and his lawyers have been demanding that the criminal case against him be fully dismissed.
Aliyev was announced the winner of the International Bar Association's Human Rights Award in 2015.
Aliyev founded the Legal Education Society in 1998 to provide legal assistance to marginalized groups. He has represented many Azerbaijani activists and human rights defenders.
Azerbaijan is widely criticized by Western governments and organizations for its crackdown on dissent and imprisonment of activists and government opponents.
On March 17, President Ilham Aliyev pardoned 148 prisoners, including several human rights defenders and opposition activists and politicians.