Director of HRHF  calls on Baku to restore rights of Mehman Huseynov

Baku/25.01.19/Turan: Maria Dahle, Director of HRHF, responds to the December 2018 criminal charges against Mehman Huseynov being dropped.

"While it is a positive development that Mehman Huseynov no longer faces a new criminal case, he has already been deprived of his freedom for two years on politically motivated charges.

When he is released, by latest 2 March 2019, he will continue to live with the effects of the repression that has escalated against him for many years.

To the authorities, we ask that they ensure Mehman Huseynov"s safety in Azerbaijan and end the campaign of repression against him. We ask that they fully reinstate his rights and rehabilitate him, and lift the travel ban he has faced since 2012 and return his identification and official documentation seized in 2013.

The lawyers working to uphold his rights should also be protected, able to carry out their professional functions without sanctions or threat of disbarment.

We must not forget other political prisoners in Azerbaijan.

We call for their release and for an end to the repressive system that targets journalists, human rights defenders, lawyers, bloggers, and activists. A free and fair democratic society does not have political prisoners."

* Blogger Mehman Huseynov was sentenced to two years in 2017 and was to be released in March 2019; but in December 2018, a new criminal case was brought against him for allegedly beating a colony employee. On January 22, under the pressure of local and international public, the case was discontinued. -0-

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