No Respite for Intigam Aliev as Appeals Court in Baku Upholds his 7.5 Years Prison Sentence

Civil Rights Defenders has learned that human rights defender Intigam Aliev has had his appeal to dismiss a 7.5 year prison sentence quashed by the Baku Court of Appeal. The Court rejected all motions calling for the release of Intigam even forbidding him to sit in close proximity to his lawyers.

Intigam Aliyev is a human rights lawyer and leader of the Legal Education Society that provides advice and support to several non-governmental organisations and economically disenfranchised groups.

He is one of five prominent human rights defenders arrested in Azerbaijan as a result of their human rights work. They represent only a handful of those who are in pre-trial detention or have received lengthy prison sentences as the authorities engage in a relentless whitewashing of civil society.

Civil Rights Defenders calls for the immediate release of all human rights defenders who languish in prison in Azerbaijan. Several have been held in pre-trial detention for over a year and are still awaiting a trial date.

Other Prominent Human Rights Defenders in Prison in Azerbaijan

Khadija Ismayilova is a prominent investigative journalist who has worked for Radio Free Europe and Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP).

Leyla Yunus is a longstanding human rights defender and the Director of the Institute of Peace and Democracy, an organisation heavily involved in promoting rule of law and also the sensitive issue of conflict resolution between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

Arif Yunus is the husband of Leyla Yunus and is an independent activist and scholar. Arif heads the Conflict Studies Department at the Institute of Peace and Democracy.

Rasul Jafarov is Chairman of the Human Rights Club, and the coordinator of the Art for Democracy campaign, a platform to improve human rights awareness in Azerbaijan. Rasul was behind “Sing for Democracy” during the Eurovision Song Contest in 2012.