Human Rights Defender Ogtay Gulaliyev Prohibited from Leaving Country


Human rights defender, “Azerbaijan without Political Prisoners” Public Alliance coordinator Ogtay Gulaliyev has been banned from leaving the country, Ogtay Gulaliyev told the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS).

According to Gulaliyev, he was taken to Police Office #37 after applying to ASAN Service for international passport on June 23. While at ASAN Service, Gulaliyev was told that he was wanted by Sabirabad Regional Police Department. After being held at the police office for a while, the human rights defender was released in the evening hours. A written commitment was taken from him to go to Sabirabad Regional Police Department by June 27.

The journalist quoted the officers at Police Office #37 under ASAN Service as telling him that a foreign travel ban had been imposed against him.

Background: Ogtay Gulaliyev was arrested after the protest rallies demanding fair distribution of the compensations assigned for the victims of Kura River floods of April 2012 in Sabirabad region. He was charged with instigation of riots. However, he was released by Sabirabad Regional Court on June 13 of the same year, after Presidential Administration’s intervention. Although freed, his criminal case has not been closed to date. Coordinated by Ogtay Gulaliyev, the Kura Civil Society Headquarters has revealed facts of corruption and misuse of hundreds of millions of dollars by officials during flood relief work supervised by the Ministry of Emergency Situations. The Headquarters members were therefore persecuted. Some of them were arrested and later released.

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