You won! After several petitions and thousands of signatures, Azerbaijani authorities have released a prominent youth activist Bakhtiyar Hajiyev nine months before the end of a two-year jail term he was ordered to serve soon after helping to organize an antigovernment demonstration.
It has been a long struggle mobilizing young people, connecting the Harvard University community and building solidarity among non-profit organizations and human rights groups all over the world.
The release of Bakhtiyar Hajiyev came on the eve of U.S. State Secretary Hillary Clinton's visit to Baku, which took place on June 6.
During her visit she met with Bakhtiyar. Clinton expressed hope that Hajiyev "will be able to continue his work without interference."
"We urge the government to respect their citizens' right to express their views peacefully and to release those who have been detained for doing so, in print or on the streets, or for defending human rights," she told reporters.
Huge thanks to all of you who took action and helped release Bakhtiyar!
Learn more: Boston news, BBC News
See Bakhtiyar's interview after release: Radio Free Europe/Libery
Harvard University alumni, MPP`09, AIESEC MCP, (Started AIESEC in Azerbaijan), former parliamentary candidate, pro-democracy activist Bakhtiyar Hajiyev has been convicted and sentenced for two years in Azerbaijan for his pro-democracy efforts. Amnesty International considers Bakhtiyar Hajiyev to be a prisoner of conscience, imprisoned solely for the peaceful expression of his views, and calls for his immediate and unconditional release. However, The Supreme Court recently upheld this sentence, leaving Mr. Hajiyev with no other means of appeal, besides ECHR.
Now it is time for HKS Alumni, Bakhtiyar`s friends and collegues from AIESEC, EEYPL to take action for Bakhtiyar Hajiyev. Sign and share!
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You can see some of the several actions which HKS took for Bakhtiyar Hajiyev:
1. Harvard Kennedy School`s letter to the President of Azerbaijan:
2. Bakhtiyar Hajiyev`s professor at Harvard university, Professor of the Practice of Economic Development, Director of Center for International Development Dr. Ricardo Hausmann`s interview:-http://bit.ly/p9iP1z
3. Op-ed in The Harvard Crimson:
Here you can get information about Bakhtiyar Hajiyev and look through the timeline that lead to his arrest:
From following links you can see some approaches and remarks of Amnesty International, European Parliament, OSCE, HRW, Professors of Harvard Kennedy School and many others. Also you can reach out links from international media such as New York times, RFERL , The Harvard Crimson and etc. Additionally, you can find some op-eds through following links.
1. 06 December 2011- Supreme Court rejected Bakhtiyar Hajiyev`s appeal.
2. 16.11.2011- Amnesty International considers Bakhtiyar Hajiyev to be a prisoner of conscience, imprisoned solely for the peaceful expression of his views, and calls for his immediate and unconditional release.
3. 6 July 2011 - Ganja city court of Appeals has rejected Bakhtiyar Hajiyev`s appeal and upheld verdict.
4. 18 May 2011 - Bakhtiyar Hajiyev was sentenced two years in prison on political grounds, with the fake charges of evading military service, however he publicly demand alternative service which is his constitutional right.
5. European Parliament`s resolution which including demand of release of Bakhtiyar Hajiyev.
6. 04 March 2011 - On March 4, Mr. Hajiyev has been detained, beaten and threatened with the rape, accused fake charge of violating an order not to leave the city of Ganja, in deemed sham trial.
7. 18 November 2010- Illegal detention on State Border--November 18, when Bakhtiyar Hajiyev still had immunity under Azerbaijani legislation as a registered candidate and whereas there wasn`t date of conscription, also he has constitutional rights to leave Azerbaijan and to go to the Republic of Georgia, State Border Service and other law-enforcement agencies detained him on Georgian-Azerbaijan border and tried to forcibly draft to army.