May 6th, 2011


Human Rights Club strongly condemns the ruling to sentence Azerbaijan Popular Front Party Member Jabbar Savalanli to 2.5 years and the criminal case launched against human rights defender Vidadi Isgandarov on 2 May. Human Rights Club assesses this action as politically motivated.

Savalanli was one of the active youths who criticized Azerbaijan government on social networks, especially facebook.  He had multiple rights were violated during his detention, interrogation, and other investigation actions. Court monitoring showed that an  unfair investigation was conducted. Most of the motions filed by Savalanli`s lawyers were not granted. Human Rights Club points out that journalists Eynulla Fatullayev and Mirze Sakit were also charged with drug possession.  

Human Rights Club declares that the arrest of Vidadi Isgandarov six months following the 7 November elections for criminal charges shows that he was arrested for another reason. Human Rights Club believes that Isgandarov`s arrest is increasing his socio-political work recently. His arrest is related to his observation activities of protests as well as the fact that he pointed out legal violations as a member of the Public Chamber, which consists of opposition representatives.
Human Rights Club also declares that arresting human rights defender is a direct threat against other human rights defenders who demonstrate principled work.

Human Rights Club states that this position demonstrated by the government signals of their intolerance against dissidents. As result of this, obligations on the human rights sector undertaken by Azerbaijan are not being observed.  Human rights and fundamental freedoms are severely violated. Azerbaijan authorities demonstrated that they do not intend to comply with local and international legislation.

Human Rights Club requests that Azerbaijan authorities immediately release Jabbar Savalanli and Vidadi Isgandarov and put an end these arrests. Human Rights Club calls upon Azerbaijan authorites to implement obligations that have been undertaken by Azerbaijan in the area of protection of human rights, and to increase its efforts to release the aforementioned persons.

Human Rights Club is a legal defense organization, which was created by several human rights defenders (Idrak Abbasov, Emin Huseynov, Sabuhi Gafarov, Rasul Jafarov, Zohrab Ismayilov, Natig Jafarli, and others)