13 February 2020, 23:54
ECtHR awards compensation to Azerbaijani activists Mamedov and Ibragimov
The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) awarded 72,000 euros of compensation to Azerbaijani activists Bairam Mamedov and Giyas Ibragimov, who complained about torture and violation of the right to freedom of expression.
The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that in October 2016, Bairam Mamedov and Giyas Ibragimov, activists of the movement "Nida", were sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment on the charge of drug trafficking. The activists treated the verdict as an authorities' revenge for the graffiti reading: "Congratulations on the holiday of slaves!" and "Down with the system!" left at the monument to former Azerbaijani president Heydar Aliev. On March 16, 2019, the activists were pardoned.
The ECtHR concluded that the complainants were ill-treated by the police in order to force them to confess to serious charges, and the Azerbaijani authorities did not conduct a proper investigation into the allegations of ill-treatment.
According to the ECtHR's decision, the complainants' graffiti actions constituted a form of political expression that did not contradict the Convention, and their arrest and prosecution constituted an interference with the right to freedom of expression.