The US Embassy called on the Azerbaijani government to respect the rights of its citizens

The US Embassy in Azerbaijan expressed concern about the arrest of Bakhtiar Hajiyev.

We are deeply troubled by the arrest and detention of Bakhtiyar Hajiyev on the eve of Human Rights Day.  We urge the authorities to release him expeditiously.  

The United States remains strongly committed to advancing respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.  And we, again, urge the government to respect its citizens’ rights, including the right to express views peacefully,  said Alys Spensley, a spokeswoman for the US Embassy.

On December 9, the Khatai District Court arrested public activist Bakhtiyar Hajiyev for a period of investigation for a month and 20 days, his lawyer Agil Laij told reporters. 

The activist was found guilty under  the Articles of the Criminal Code on hooliganism 221 and 289 (disrespect for the court). He faces up to 3 years in prison.

Speaking in court, Hajiyev denied the charges, saying that he was being persecuted for his political activities, including criticism of the authorities in international forums.

The defense does not agree with the decision of the court and intends to file an appeal against the arrest. 

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