March 18th, 2011
Yesterday, a group of journalists and young activists visited Ganja to meet the family of imprisoned youth activist Bakhtiyar Hajiyev. “Azadlig” newspaper reporter Ramin Deko, “Turan” information agency photographer Etimad Budagov, Adalat Ahmadov of Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety, head of the Azerbaijan Popular Front Party youth organization Abulfaz Gurbanli, human rights defender Gaya Aliyev, and the head of Bakhtiyar Hakiyev’s Human Rights committee Rail Abbasov were among the visitors.

Bakhtiyar Hajiyev’s father Ilyas Hajiyev said he has not been allowed to see his son since his arrest. Hajiyev’s brother Vugar Hajiyev speculated that the visiting ban was because his brother was being tortured.
His mother Solida Movlayeva added that after her son’s arrest, she was refused membership to the New Azerbaijan Party.
Bakhtiyar Hajiyev’s friends claim that his imprisonment is due to a government policy of repression being enacted against young people with alternative views.
The media representatives who visited Ganja were also taken to the police. They were asked about the purpose of their visit.
Hajiyev, former parliamentary candidate in 7 November 2010 elections, was first detained on 17 November, 2010 when he tried to cross into Georgia via the Gazakh region’s Red Bridge checkpoint. He was travelling to Georgia to continue his education. In fact, Hajiyev was set free a day later, as he still had immunity as a parliamentarian candidate. At present, he is facing criminal charges under Article 321 of Criminal Code, for evading military service. It is widely thought that Hajiyev was arrested for his activity on social networking sites and his support of the March 11 Great People’s Day campaign.