ARTICLE 19 calls upon the international community to react to the ongoing attack on human rights defenders in Azerbaijan. This morning Integam Aliyev, a prominent human rights defender, involved in the establishment of a list of political prisoners in Azerbaijan, was arrested and the office of the Institute for Reporters Freedom and Safety (IRFS), headed by Emin Huseynov surrounded by uniformed and plain-clothes police officers.
On 5 August ARTICLE 19 signed a joint letter sent to President Ilham Aliyev, calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Leyla Yunus, Arif Yunus and Rasul Jafarov. In the letter we also repeat our previous call to release Anar Mammadli and Bashir Suleymanli, and join calls for the release of Hasan Huseynli.
As Rasul Jafarov turns 30 on 17 August – his colleagues and friends have set up an action for him to receive books and post cards through his family – further details you can find here.
If anything, diplomatic missions on the ground should be present to monitor and provide public support – through visiting the IRFS office today, and organising meetings with human rights defenders, journalists and activists at their premises in Baku, with a “photo-op” and a strong public support message for their work.