INCREASING PRESSURES ON INDEPENDENT LAWYERS

September 7th, 2011
Civil society representatives, lawyers, human rights defenders condemned the recent pressures against independent lawyers in a press conference held by  Political and Civil Rights Center.

Head of the organization Parviz Hashimli recalled  the Bar of Lawyers’ harsh attitude towards lawyers Osman Kazimov, Khalid Bagirov and Elchin Namazov, and said that he believes this to be coordinated attack by the government.

Lawyer Elchin Namazov spoke about his activity, and the pressures against him.  He said that today  the Discipline Commission of the Bar of Lawyers will consider the appeal submitted to the Bar on the basis of the August 27th decision of Nasimi District Court on his case.

On August 27th, during the trial of opposition activists jailed for their involvement in the April 2nd protest, a conflict arose between the Judge and lawyer Elchin Namazov. Subsequently, the Judge ruled that an appeal be sent to the General Prosecutor’s Office, requesting that a criminal case against the lawyer be opened, that he be expelled from the legal profession, and that the Bar of Lawyers be informed and take necessary disciplinary measures. The lawyer said that  he has not yet been able to get hold of any of the relevant documentation.

Elchin Namazov said that he had been repeatedly called to the Bar of Lawyers’ office and received threats, and was told to end his representation of anyone deemed to be anti-government.

Independent lawyers, human rights defenders spoke in the conference and made proposals.  IRFS Director Emin Huseynov suggested that civil society representatives come together and appeal to Baku City Executive Power, and apply for permission to hold a picket against this pressure.

Human rights defender Novella Jafaroglu offered to prepare an appeal and submit it to international institutions.  Head of Legal Education Public Union Irada Javadova offered to sue the Bar of Lawyers.
The head of Legal Education Society Intigam Aliyev said that in his opinion, “ the campaign against the lawyers is part of a plan to annihilate local civil society,”said Aliyev .
Lawyer Osman Kazimov, who survived a court battle with the Bar of Lawyers, says that the pressures against him are continuing.

Representatives of embassies and international organizations also attended the conference.