Committee to Protect the rights of Tofig Yagublu and Ilgar Mamedov demands their release

The first meeting of the Committee to Protect the rights of the deputy chairman of the party "Musavat" and journalist, Tofig Yagublu, and the head of the civil Movement REAL (Republican initiative), Ilgar Mammadov, took place on Friday at the headquarters of the Musavat party.

Earlier, Musavat and REAL created their own protection committees, which they have now united to better protect the arrested civil society activists. The committee includes prominent leaders of non-governmental organizations, the media, and human rights activists.

The first document adopted by the Committee, which was read by Chairperson Gubad Ibadoglu, was an appeal demanding an end to the fraudulent cases and release of those arrested.

Yagublu and Mammadov were arrested 10 days after visiting the Ismailli region to study the situation where on 23-24 January there were massive public protests against official arbitrariness.

According to Gubad Ibadoglu the officials who provoked the mass demonstrations should be imprisoned.  He cited statistics according to which social and economic indicators in the Ismayilli region are the lowest in the country. For example, the average salary in Ismailli is 40% lower than in the whole of Azerbaijan. The same situation is true for employment and other indicators.

The Head of the Center to Protect Freedom of Conscience and Religious DEVAMM, Ilgar Ibrahimoglu, noted that by arresting prominent public figures, the authorities have made it clear that they will do their best to prevent unrest of the people who are active in society on the eve of the presidential election.

The arrest of Tofig Yagublu after the arrest of his daughter is a demonstration of the willingness of authorities to condone violence. To arrest Ilgar Mamedov, is demonstrative refusal by official Baku to honor its international obligations.

Both "Musavat" and REAL intend to increase their activities in response to the repression. Chairman of "Musavat", Isa Gambar, said that the party will intensify the fight for free elections, and co-founder of REAL, Natq Cafarli, said that the Movement will expand the work of the political education of the population.

The committee announced a program of action for the protection of the rights of detainees, which includes holding various political and social campaigns. A parallel petition on behalf of civil society demanding the release of those arrested was launched today by the Institute for  Reporters' Freedom and Safety.-0-


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