During the 54th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, the situation in Azerbaijan was also touched upon during discussions on arbitrary arrests.
Human rights activist Emin Huseynov drew attention to the frequent cases of arbitrary detentions in Azerbaijan, where the number of political prisoners exceeded 200 people: 145 believers, 6 journalists, 2 human rights defenders and 7 members of opposition parties.
“The Azerbaijani government constantly uses fabricated criminal cases to silence critical voices and hinder independent journalism. Some of the government’s critics, such as journalist Avaz Zeynaly and human rights activist Bakhtiyar Hajiyev, have been repeatedly subjected to arbitrary detentions,” the human rights activist said.
Huseynov also drew the Council’s attention to the trend of forced extradition of Turkmen citizens from Turkey with their subsequent detention. Thus, a young blogger Farhad Maimankuliyev was extradited to Ashgabat, where he was subjected to severe torture. He was later sentenced to 18 years in prison, and his health is of concern.
The representative of the Azerbaijani diplomatic mission in Geneva, who spoke at the event, focused attention on the arbitrary detention in Armenia of two Azerbaijani servicemen who found themselves on the territory of a neighboring country after getting lost. According to far-fetched accusations, young people in Armenia were sentenced to long prison terms, the Azerbaijani diplomat noted.
In April, Azerbaijani servicemen Huseyn Akhundov and Agshin Babirov got lost on the territory of Armenia and were detained. In July, Akhundov was sentenced to 20 years in the case of “illegal border crossing” and “murder of a watchman”, and Babirov was sentenced to 11.5 years in the case of “illegal border crossing”.
A “parallel event” on “Human rights in Azerbaijan in the post-pandemic period”, organized by the Institute for Freedom and Security of Reporters, was also held during the session.
The head of the organization Huseynov pointed out that despite the end of the pandemic, the land borders of Azerbaijan still remain closed.
Zhalia Bayramova, the daughter of arrested oppositionist Gubad Ibadoglu, also spoke at the event. She told about the illegal persecution of her father for criticizing the government.