01 April 2017, 19:15

Rights defenders count 162 political prisoners in Azerbaijan

The Azerbaijani Centre for Defence of Political Prisoners has updated the list of political prisoners, by adding six new convicts and excluding nine released prisoners. The total number of political prisoners on the list is 162.

The updated list of political prisoners was presented on April 1.

"We decided to publish the updated list with account of newly arrested civil and religious activists and journalists, as well as the release of a group of political prisoners in connection with the end of their imprisonment terms, pardoning and release under the CER (conditional early relief)," said Ogtay Gyulyalyev, the head of the Public Alliance "Azerbaijan without Political Prisoners".

He stated "the continued vicious practice of persecuting citizens on political grounds for their enjoyment of their fundamental freedoms."

According to Mr Gyulyalyev, from the end of January, "journalist Elchin Ismayilli, bloggers Mekhman Guseinov and Mekhman Galandarov, theologian Sardar Babaev, member of the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan (PFPA) Elnur Faradjev and the activist of the movement "Muslim Unity" Elkhan Iskenderov were arrested on politically motivated charges."

"All these persons have been falsely charged; in fact, they were arrested for their public, political or journalistic activities; and we recognized them as political prisoners in accordance with the criteria set up by the PACE (Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe)," said Gyulyalyev.

Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.

Author: Faik Medzhid; Source: CK correspondent

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