EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT CALLS FOR RELEASE OF YOUTH ACTIVISTS AND JOURNALISTS FATULLAYEV

May 13th, 2011
The European Parliament has adopted a resolution criticizing the human rights situation in Azerbaijan, Radio Liberty reports.

The European Parliament has condemned a crackdown on opposition protests in Azerbaijan and expressed "deep concern" at the increased number of attacks on civil society, social network activists, and journalists in the country, Radio Liberty reports. The criticism came in a resolution adopted by the chamber in Strasbourg on may 12.
The cases of Jabbar Savalan and Bakhtiyar Hajiyev are given special mention in the document. Savalan, a member of the Azerbaijan Popular Front Party's (APFP) youth group, was recently sentenced to 2.5 years in prison on charges of drug possession. Hajiyev, a former parliamentary candidate, was arrested after calling for demonstrations against the government via the social networking site Facebook and now faces two years in jail for allegedly dodging military service.
Further, the document condems increased number of threats and persecutiona gainst the journalists by Azerbaijani authorities.             
The European Parliament calls for release of youth activists Jabbar Savalan, Bakjhtiyar Hajiyev and journalist Eynulla Fatullayev.

The parliamentarians also called the Azerbaijani authorities to refrain from ungrounded charges and ensure protection of journalists.
The document also condemns arrest of over 200 activists at opposition rallies of March and April.