Human Rights Watch (HRW) demands the release of Tofig Yagublu

Baku/25.03.20/Turan: The international human rights organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) sharply condemned the arrest in Azerbaijan of opposition politician Tofig Yagublu.

A March 25 statement from the organization said that Yagublu was arrested for criticizing the government on trumped-up charges of "hooliganism."

According to HRW, the arrest was made after several days of the speech of the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev. “It follows from Aliyev’s speech that the authorities will use the methods of combating the coronavirus to reprise the opposition. This is another indicator of the authorities' intolerance towards freedom of speech and political critics,” the statement says.

HRW points to the deep-rooted practice in Azerbaijan of using criminal charges to silence government critics. “The case against Yagublu is in line with this practice,” said Giorgi Gogia, HRW Director for Europe and Central Asia.

In respect of Yagublu, a preventive measure in the form of arrest for a period of 3 months was chosen. He faces up to 7 years in prison. Before the arrest on March 22, Yagublu wrote on Facebook that he was faced with provocation.  

“When my car was parked in the parking lot of the 8 km market, another car defiantly hit my car, and those sitting in it attacked me. These are trained people,” he wrote.

HRW points out that the arrest of Yagublu based on such an abstract and unfounded charge violates the European Convention on Human Rights.

Concern is also caused by the placement of Yagublu in the Shuvelansky pre-trial detention center-3, which is excessively loaded, dirty, poorly lit and aired. The Council of Europe Committee against Torture mission in 2017 urged the authorities to close the facility as soon as possible.

“Human Rights Watch” recalls that Yagublu was not arrested for the first time. He was periodically delayed and subjected to ill-treatment and threats.

“The authorities should immediately release Yagublu, stop pressure on the opposition, tackle citizens' health problems, enable the media to work freely and safely,” the HRW statement said. -06D-


Leave a review


Follow us on social networks

News Line