The majority of political prisoners were not pardoned again

On May 27, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signed an order to pardon a number of convicted persons.

According to the order, 213 people were pardoned. At the same time, 167 convicts are released from the remaining term of the prison sentence. Another convict was released from life imprisonment. 36 persons, the remaining part of the prison sentence is reduced by half. Three convicts were released from probation, 6 – from punishment in the form of restriction of freedom.

Among those pardoned are over 20 people from the list of political prisoners of human rights activists. In particular, among the former head of the executive power of the Gadabay region Saleh Rustamov, journalists Afgan Sadigov (head of Azel.Tv) and Bahruz Aliyev (, member of the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan (PFPA) Pasha Umudov.

In addition, Vugar Allahverdiyev, Seymur Aliyev, Tural Bayramov, Nizami Akbarov, Maarif Hajiyev, Ruslan Hasanov, Yaver Ismailzade, Kamal Maharramov, Kamal Guliyev, Elman Rustamov, Ali Rzayev, Shahlar Rzayev, Ganbar Garazade , Zabil Mammadov, Raul Suleymanov, Togrul Verdiyev, Asif Javadov, Orkhan Yagnaliyev and Vagif Ashrafov.

At the same time, among those pardoned those convicted under 18 articles of the Criminal Code for serious crimes are former high-ranking officials of the Ministry of National Security abolished in 2015 – the ex-head of the Monitoring Center, Major General Teymur Guliyev (was sentenced to 12 years in prison and) and an employee of the Department security in energy and transport Colonel Salim Mammadov (were sentenced to 11 years in prison).

Rufat Safarov, co-founder of the human rights organization Line of Defense, called the pardon “not complete” in terms of solving the problem of political prisoners.

“Unfortunately, this time, like in previous pardons? not all political prisoners have been released. Of course, we welcome the pardons of several political prisoners – Salekh Rustamov, Pasha Umudov, Afgan Sadigov and a number of others. It is gratifying that an entrepreneur is released Shamsi Samadzadeh, who was sentenced to life imprisonment and spent 23 years in prison only because he “angered” former Prosecutor General Zakir Garalov,” –  said  Safarov.

According to him, the vast majority of political prisoners remained in prison. “There are more than 100 political prisoners in Azerbaijan. We would like all the persons listed as political prisoners on the lists of human rights organizations to be released,” Safarov said.

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