11 December 2019, 16:12

42 human rights organizations demand to stop pressure on advocates in Azerbaijan

The Azerbaijani Bar Association has launched disciplinary proceedings against Elchin Sadygov. The investigation against the advocate was initiated by Rustam Usubov, the First Deputy General Prosecutor. The campaign against advocates is aimed at preventing their human rights activities, human rights defenders believe.

"The complaint is connected with my message I've posted on Facebook in connection with a road traffic accident in which human rights defender Ogtai Gyulyalyev was badly injured. After watching a video with the road traffic accident, I expressed the opinion that a car's driver had intentionally hit Ogtai Gyulyalyev. And because of that, Rustam Usubov complained about me to the Azerbaijani Bar Association," Elchin Sadygov told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

"For more than 12 years, I have been engaged in advocacy, and I have been defending the rights of hundreds of citizens. I had a lot of cases related to the protection of the rights of journalists, bloggers, and activists. I was repeatedly subjected to pressure because of my professional activities," said Elchin Sadygov.

According to the advocate, he is accused of "disseminating unreasonable information about the road traffic accident" and of "forming an erroneous opinion among citizens" by trying to cause "distrust of the state."

Elchin Sadygov believes that the General Prosecutor's Office illegally interferes with his right to freedom of expression and "uses censorship."

More than 40 international human rights organizations have voiced a call to stop putting pressure on independent advocates in Azerbaijan.

In the past week alone, three advocates have faced pressure, notes Emin Guseinov, the director of the Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety (IRFS).

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on December 11, 2019 at 05:06 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Faik Medjid; Source: CK correspondent

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