26 March 2020, 11:54

Rights defenders demand to release of Azerbaijani oppositionist Yagublu

The human rights organizations Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International (AI) have condemned the arrest of the oppositional politician, Tofig Yagublu, detained in Azerbaijan.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that Tofig Yagublu, a member of the "Musavat" Party and of the coordinating centre of the National Council of Democratic Forces (NCDF), was detained on March 22. The Azerbaijani Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) has stated that Yagublu had committed a traffic accident and attacked people. The activist himself has treated himself to be a victim of provocation.

Elchin Sadygov, a Yagublu's advocate, said that his client was arrested for three months on charges of hooliganism.

The HRW believes that Yagublu was arrested "on trumped-up charges," as he "often voices out concerns about human rights violations."

"A few days before Tofig's arrest, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliev commented on difficulties related to the coronavirus pandemic. He blamed oppositionists as 'traitors', who seek to destabilize the situation in the country. It was clear from Aliev's words that the authorities would use the virus as a pretext to suppress the political opposition," the HRW's statement says.

Human rights defenders believe that "the traffic accident was staged in order to create grounds for opening a fictitious case against Yagublu."

They have recalled that this is not the first arrest of Yagublu. The AI has noted that Yagublu was first arrested in 2013 after his trip to the city of Ismayilly to watch the demonstrations.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on March 25, 2020 at 11:20 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Faik Medjid; Source: CK correspondent

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