Chris Smith. Photo: OSCE press service, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:U.S._Congressman_Chris_Smith_presents_resolution_at_OSCE_Parliamentary_Assembly_as_Special_Representative_on_Human_Trafficking_Issues.jpg

14 January 2019, 19:04

US Congressman calls for release of Mekhman Guseinov

US Congressman Chris Smith has called on Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliev to "immediately and unconditionally" release blogger Mekhman Guseinov, who is on a hunger strike in prison.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that earlier, the calls for the release of Mekhman Guseinov had been voiced by Dunja Mijatović, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, the international organization in defence of the freedom of the press "Reporters Without Borders" (RWB), and the human rights organizations "Amnesty International" (AI) and "Human Rights Watch" (HRW).

On December 26, 2018, Mekhman Guseinov announced a dry hunger strike in the colony, where he was serving his term, in protest against the new criminal case opened against him. During the hunger strike, Mekhman had severely undermined his health, and began taking liquid dairy products, because of severe stomach pains, but still refuses any other food, his brother and the advocate have stated.

Chris Smith, a US congressman and the past chairman of the House Subcommittee on Global Human Rights, called on President Ilham Aliev to immediately and unconditionally release blogger Mekhman Guseinov, the "Turan" reported on January 12.

"Mekhman has spent two years in jail for his work exposing the corruption. The government compounded this injustice two weeks ago by imposing new arbitrary charges on him to extend his time behind bars. President Ilham Aliev must act now to bring an end to this latest shameful episode of the regime's cruel campaign against free speech," wrote Chris Smith as quoted by the "Turan".

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on January 13, 2019 at 03:30 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Faik Medzhid; Source: CK correspondent

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