01/09/2019

Urgent Action Update: New Charges Against Prisoner of Conscience (Azerbaijan: UA 168.12)


On 26 December 2018, the Azerbaijani authorities brought new criminal charges against prisoner of conscience Mehman Huseynov, just as his current jail term nears to an end. The prominent journalist has been charged with assault for allegedly attacking an inspector at the detention center. Mehman Huseynov denies the accusation. On 26 December 2018, he went on a hunger strike in protest of the new criminal charges and there are now grave concerns for his health which has been reported by his lawyer as ‘critical’. If convicted, Mehman Huseynov could face up to seven more years in jail. He must be immediately and unconditionally released.

Share
Share


 

 

TAKE ACTION:

  1. Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
  2. Click here to let us know the actions you took on Urgent Action 168.12. It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help.
H.E Ilham Aliyev
Office of the President of Azerbaijan
19 Istiqlaliyyat Street
“The President Palace”
Baku City AZ1066, Azerbaijan
Email: [email protected]
Ambassador Elin Suleymanov
Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan
2741 34th Street NW, Washington DC  20008
Phone: 1 202 337 3500 I Fax: 1 202 337 5911
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @azembassyus
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

His Excellency Ilham Aliyev,

On 26 December 2018, Azerbaijani authorities brought new criminal charges of “resisting a representative of the authorities with the use of violence dangerous to the representative’s health and life” against Mehman Huseynov, a prisoner of conscience and outspoken Azerbaijani government-critic, just as his current jail term nears to an end. The prominent journalist and outspoken government-critic was accused of allegedly attacking an inspector at the detention center where he is being held. He denies the charges. If convicted, Mehman Huseynov could face up to seven years in jail. Mehman Huseynov went on a hunger strike since 26 December to protest the new criminal charges and, according to his lawyer, is currently in a critical health condition.

Mehman Huseynov is currently serving a two-year prison sentence under trumped-up charges on a case of defamation of an entire police station. He was accused after he gave a statement in front of the courthouse in which he described torture and ill-treatment he had suffered at the hands of the police. He is a prisoner of conscience and should have never been prosecuted and convicted. With only three months left until his release, Amnesty International believes the new charges against Mehman Huseynov are politically motivated and have been brought in an effort to both further punish him for having expressed his critical views of the government, and to deter others from speaking up and seeking justice for police abuses – a persistent and well-documented problem in Azerbaijan.

I urge you to take all necessary steps to ensure that the new trumped-up charges against Mehman Huseynov are dropped and that he is immediately and unconditionally released, as he has been detained solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression.

Yours sincerely,

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES