07/13/2020

Urgent Action Victory! Activist Released from Psychiatric Hospital (Azerbaijan: UA 104.20)


Opposition activist Agil Humbatov was released from a psychiatric hospital in Baku, Azerbaijan’s capital, on 1 July. He was forcibly placed there on 2 April after he criticized the authorities’ handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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NO FURTHER ACTION IS REQUESTED. MANY THANKS TO ALL WHO SENT APPEALS.

Agil Humbatov, a member of the opposition Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan (PFPA), was released on 1 July from the Psychiatric Hospital №1 in Baku, Azerbaijan’s capital. He was forcibly placed there on 2 April, in retaliation for his criticism of the authorities, and was administered medication without his free and informed consent or a justified necessity.

On 30 March, police arrested Agil Humbatov after he posted a video on social media criticizing the government’s failure to help families who struggle during the COVID-19 pandemic. The next day, police officers took him to the Psychiatric Hospital №1, where he was confined as a patient purportedly suffering from paranoia. On 1 April, the Sabunchu District Court rejected the hospital’s application for his forced hospitalization and ordered his release.

On 2 April, police re-arrested Agil Humbatov and took him back to the hospital after he posted another video on social media saying that he was forcibly hospitalized in deplorable conditions because of his political views. On 3 April, the Baku Court of Appeals overturned the previous court decision and approved his forced hospitalization without any substantial evidence that would justify his internment in a psychiatric hospital.

Agil Humbatov was released on 1 July without any explanation or medical documents. Prior to his release Amnesty International members received letters from the head of the hospital, promising Agil Humbatov’s prompt release.

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