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18.01.2020

Forty two international organizations demand to stop prosecution of lawyers in Azerbaijan

"We, 42 members and a partner of the Human Rights House organization, demand immediate termination of the proceedings against human rights lawyers, including Shahla Humbatova and Elchin Sadigov," said the appeal addressed to the head of the Bar Association of Azerbaijan Anar Bagirov.

Ms. Humbatova is a well-known Azerbaijani lawyer with extensive experience in cases involving a wide range of human rights violations. She represented the interests of many Azerbaijani human rights defenders, including Intigam Aliyev, Mehman Huseynov and the Ganja case.

Humbatova’s persecution intensified after she defended the rights of Mehman Huseynov during his hunger strike in December 2018.

Mr. Sadigov is also a well-known human rights lawyer who defended the rights of several people in politically motivated cases.

Our organizations are deeply concerned about the recent actions of the Bar Association to remove these advocates from their work. This ongoing campaign seeks to prevent lawyers from defending human rights.”

“We note with growing anxiety the repression of your organization against lawyers who refer cases to international structures and protect politically active individuals.

Over the past few years, numerous cases have been documented in which Azerbaijani human rights lawyers were reprimanded, denied access to work, suspended or completely withdrawn their license.

These include: Nemat Karimli, Elchin Namazov, Khalid Bagirov, Alaif Hasanov, Yalchin Imanov, Asabali Mustafayev, Agyl Layich, Fakhraddin Mehdiyev, Irada Javadova, Fuad Agayev, Intigam Aliyev and Annagi Hajibeyli.

These lawyers were pressured because of their willingness to defend freedom of expression, report torture to their clients, and protect political prisoners.

We are concerned that the Bar Association is trying to add Gumbatov and Sadigov to the list of lawyers against whom repression has already been taken.

The actions of the Bar Association of Azerbaijan are contrary to the spirit, standards, principles and union of lawyers. We call upon you to immediately stop this action and ensure Ms. Humbatova’s and Mr. Sadigov’s full membership in the Azerbaijani Bar Association, reads the statement. -02D-

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