Azerbaijan Sends Pro-Democracy Activists to Prison

Washington

In response to an Azerbaijan court on May 6 sentencing eight members of the Nida Civic Movement to prison terms of six to eight years for participating in anti-government demonstrations in 2013, Freedom House issued the following statement:

“The decision by an Azerbaijan court to send to prison eight young men who protested corruption and lawlessness exposes the authoritarian character of the government and the corruption of the country’s judicial system,” said David J. Kramer, president of Freedom House. “Democracies should hold the government of Azerbaijan accountable for its poor record on human rights, an even more serious problem as Azerbaijan prepares to take the chairmanship of the Council of Europe.”

Those sentenced to prison include Ilkin Rustamzade, Zaur Gurbanli, Rashadat Akhundov, Rashad Hasanov, Uzeyir Mammadli, Bakhtiyar Guliyev, Mammad Azizov, and Shahin Novruzlu. Police arrested 20 supporters outside the courthouse in Baku who were demonstrating against the sentences. 

Azerbaijan is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2014, Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2014 and Partly Free in Freedom on the Net 2013.

To learn more about Azerbaijan, visit:
Azerbaijan Detains Human Rights Figure, Pressures Civil Society
Freedom in the World 2013: Azerbaijan
Freedom of the Press 2013: Azerbaijan
Freedom on the Net 2013: Azerbaijan
Blog: Freedom at Issue

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Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

Join us on Facebook and Twitter (freedomhousedc). Stay up to date with Freedom House’s latest news and events by signing up for our newsletter and our blog.