Europe: Call upon Azerbaijani President to release pro-democracy activist Bakhtiyar Hajiyev
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.
See pages 418-423 of 2012 Global Report by Human Rights Watch.
See pages 23-24 of the Amnesty International Report, “The Spring that Never Blossomed: Freedoms Suppressed in Azerbaijan."
Background: On November 4th, 2011, 1/3 part of Bakhtiyar`s prison term has already served. Under Azerbaijani law it gives Bakhtiyar a chance forparole. Also, on March 4th, one year, half of his prison term are going to be served, it gives him additional chance for parole too.
Every months tens of real criminals are released from Prison where Bakhtiyar still remains behind bars. However, December 29, first instance court rejected his appeal for parole. Now it is time to ask from authorities, Why Bakhtiyar not?
Our colleague and fellow member, Harvard Kennedy School alumni MPP`09 Bakhtiyar Hajiyev has been detained on March 4th 2011 and sentenced to two years of prison on the last May in Azerbaijan. Amnesty International considers Bakhtiyar Hajiyev is a prisoner of conscience, imprisoned solely for the peaceful expression of his views and calls for his immediate and unconditional release.
Since his arrest European Union, European Parliament officials have severally raised his case publicly. In May 2011, the European Parliament adopted a resolution expressing “deep concern at the increasing number of harassment, attacks and violence against civil society, social network activists and journalists in Azerbaijan.” Human Rights Watch, in its World Report, also named the growing problem of imprisonment on politically motivated charges, citing Mr. Hajiyev’s case as an example. However, Bakhtiyar Hajiyev is still remains behind bars for a year.
However, Bakhtiyar Hajiyev is available for parole since November 4th, under Azerbaijani law and there is no any reason for deny, his appeal for parole was rejected by the court on December 29. Bakhtiyar Hajiyev appeal for his parole was refused on February 27 2012 by Baku Appeal Court.
We as European citizens and who shares common values with Europe believe that stability at the price of freedom and basic human rights is not sustainable. We believe that European Leaders must give priority to significant improvements in respecting and protecting human rights of people of the Azerbaijan while co-operating with Azerbaijan in other fields.
Dear European Leaders,
On March 4th, half of Bakhtiyar Hajiyev`s prison term are going to be served. He will face parole hearing (conditional release) immediately after March 4th.
As one of the world`s powerful democracy we respectfully urge your leadership in pressing President of Azerbaijan Mr.Ilham Aliyev and the government of Azerbaijan to release Bakhtiyar Hajiyev.
We the undersigned respectfully urge you to call up on President Ilham Aliyev to hold human rights and immediately and unconditionally release Bakhtiyar Hajiyev from prison.