May 16, 2016

Urgent Action Update: Activist Sentenced To 10 Years For Graffiti Protest (Azerbaijan: UA 114/16)


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Azerbaijani youth activist Bayram Mammadov was sentenced to 10 years in prison on 8 December for a graffiti protest. Fellow activist Giyas Ibrahimov was also sentenced to 10 years in prison on 25 October. They are prisoners of conscience and should be released immediately.
 
The Grave Crimes Court in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, sentenced Azerbaijani youth activist Bayram Mammadov to 10 years in prison on 8 December. Bayram Mammadov was found guilty under Article 234 of the Criminal Code (drug possession for the purpose of selling, aggravated by acting as part of a group). His fellow activist Giyas Ibrahimov was also found guilty and sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment under the same Article on 25 October. Giyas Ibrahimov and Bayram Mammadov are prisoners of conscience.
 
Giyas Ibrahimov and Bayram Mammadov were arrested on 10 May after the authorities claimed that police had discovered around eight grams of heroin in their possession. The day before, they had painted a political graffiti on the statue of Heydar Aliyev, the late former President of Azerbaijan and father of President Ilham Aliyev.
 
The drug charges against Giyas Ibrahimov and Bayram Mammadov have been fabricated with the sole purpose of punishing them for their political protest. They have complained of torture and other ill-treatment in custody, including severe beatings and threat of rape, aimed at forcing them to apologise publicly for the graffiti, but heir allegations – and their injuries witnessed by their lawyer and others – have been ignored by the authorities.
Bayram Mammadov and Giyas Ibrahimov are members of the Azerbaijani pro-democracy youth movement NIDA. Bayram Mammadov has been a NIDA member since February 2016. Giyas Ibrahimov joined the movement after his arrest in May 2016.
 
1) TAKE ACTION
Write a letter, send an email, call, fax or tweet:
  • Calling on the authorities to release Bayram Mammadov and Giyas Ibrahimov immediately as they are prisoners of conscience prosecuted for exercising their right to freedom of expression;
  • Calling on the authorities to carry out an immediate, effective and impartial investigation into the alleged torture and other ill-treatment of Bayram Mammadov and Giyas Ibrahimov and into the fabrication of charges against them;
  • Insisting on a full respect for and protection of the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly in Azerbaijan.

Contact these two officials by 19 January, 2017:

President Ilham Aliyev
Office of the President of Azerbaijan
19 Istiqlaliyyat Street
Baku AZ1066, Azerbaijan
Fax: +994 12 492 0625
Salutation: Dear President
 
Ambassador H.E. Elin Suleymanov
Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan
2741 34th Street NW, Washington DC 20008
Tel: 1 202 337 3500 I Fax: 1 202 337 5911
Salutation: Dear Ambassador
 
2) LET US KNOW YOU TOOK ACTION
Here’s why it is so important to report your actions: we record the number of actions taken on each case and use that information in our advocacy. Either email [email protected] with “UA 114/16” in the subject line or click this link.
 
ADDITONAL RESOURCES
 
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CONTACT US: [email protected]