Human Rights Defender Intigam Aliyev Not Allowed to Leave Country

October 18th, 2016

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Sumgait City Court chaired by Judge Elman Mammadov considered an application submitted by prominent human rights defender, President of Legal Education Society Intigam Aliyev. In his application, Intigam Aliyev sought a permission to travel abroad to attend international events. However, the court refused to grant his request.

Intigam Aliyev was arrested in 2014. He was convicted of tax evasion, misappropriation, illegal business, abuse of office and forgery and was sentenced to 7.5 years in jail by Baku Grave Crimes Court on 22 April 2015. The human rights defender’s sentence was subsequently upheld by Baku Appeal Court and the Supreme Court. Based on Prosecutor General Zakir Garalov’s petition submitted to the Supreme Court Plenum in March 2016, Intigam Aliyev’s sentence was commuted to a 5-year suspended sentence and he was released on 28 March 2016. According to the Plenum’s decision, the human rights defender is required to not change his place of residence without informing the agency monitoring his behaviour during the probationary period, which is Sumgait City Department for Execution of Court Judgments.

Intigam Aliyev had applied to the court to provisionally lift the travel ban imposed on him to enable his participation in international events from 11 October 2016 through 30 November 2016. The human rights defender had been invited to attend the meeting of Council of Europe’s Expert Council on NGO Law on October 11-12 as a member of the Expert Council, the UN Human Rights Committee hearings to be held in Geneva on October 20-21 on the report presented by Azerbaijan in accordance with Article 40 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the 10th European Pro Bono Forum of the Global Network for Public Interest Law (PILnet) to be held in Amsterdam on November 16-18, and the 8th General Assembly of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum to be held in Brussels on November 28-29.

Sumgait City Court based its decision on the fact that neither the Criminal Procedural Code nor the Code on Execution of Punishments had any provision on allowing conditionally sentenced persons to leave the country.

Background: After his release on probation, Intigam Aliyev was allowed to leave the country for 10 days (June 5-15) by Sumgait City Court’s decision of 2 June 2016, and the human rights defender attended and made a speech at the international conference organised by the Council of Europe in Strasbourg on 6-7 June 2016.