The Supreme Court of Azerbaijan upheld the sentence of a young activist and blogger on 6 December. Bakhtiyar Hajiyev was sentenced to two years‘ imprisonment after using Facebook to generate support for the 11 March “Great People’s Day” anti-government protests. The 29-year-old Harvard graduate was charged with evading military service in May, but lost his appeal against the conviction.
Natasha Schmidt, Assistant Editor of Index on Censorship magazine condemned the decision:
“The Azerbaijani authorities have demonstrated once again that they are entirely hostile to freedom of expression and the right to protest. Like activist Jabber Savalan, Bakhtiyar Hajiyev remains in jail on a charge unrelated to his activism, a tactic increasingly employed to silence dissenting voices.”