Representatives of Democratic Public Call for Release of T. Yagublu and E. Mammad

April 1st, 2020

A coalition of solidarity in the name of justice and civil society activists condemned the arrest of the head of the Sumgait Youth Education NGO and editor-in-chief of the Yukselish Namine website Elcin Mammad.

“A well-known human rights activist, a member of the Coalition of Solidarity for Justice, the editor-in-chief of the Yukselish Namine newspaper, Elchin Mammad, was detained by the police on March 30 in his home in Sumgayit and taken to the police department. Elchin Mammad was subjected to insults before his young children. A criminal case has been instituted against him under article 177.2.4 (theft) of the Criminal Code, which is based on a libelous charge. Today, the court chose a preventive measure in respect of him in the form of an arrest for a period of three months, and he was imprisoned in Shuvelan pre-trial detention center-3,” the statement said.

The authors of the document condemn the arrest of Elchin Mammad, and demand his immediate release.

The activists say they do not believe Mammad’s charge of theft, given his reputation as a principled champion of human rights.

The charge of theft is all the more ridiculous given the fact that Mammad has provided free legal assistance to needy citizens for many years.

“How justified and reasonable is it to place a well-known human rights activist under arrest, while millions of people under the quarantine regime are forced to “stay at home”? This step discredits Azerbaijan in the eyes of the international democratic community,” the statement said.

The activists are perplexed by the arrests of Elchin Mammad and former opposition politician Tofig Yagublu against the background of recent meetings of the presidential administration representative Adalat Veliyev with party leaders, as well as calls by President Ilham Aliyev himself for dialogue.

“It turns out that there are those who impede the achievement of the goals set by President Ilham Aliyev. This bothers us as a civil society, therefore, we want to eliminate this tension. The arrests of Tofig Yagublu and Elchin Mammad on trumped-up charges show that authorities abusing the tragic days in the country are again using repressive methods to isolate social and political activists, leaving them unprotected,” the statement said. The authors demand the immediate release of Elchin Mammad and Tofig Yagublu.

The statement was signed by Novella Jafaroglu, Saadat Bananyarly, Said Gojamanli, Arzu Abdullayeva, Mirvari Gahramanli, Avaz Zeynalli, Hilal Mammadov, Avaz Hasanov, Mehman Aliyev, and Shahla Ismail.

By TURAN 01 April 2020