Disregarding the motion by European Parliament earlier this week, Azerbaijan has failed to release political prisoners Leyla and Arif Yunus, Rasul Jafarov, Intigam Aliyev and Hasan Huseynli.
Leyla and her husband have now been imprisoned for 56 days, since July 30. On September 22, Leyla’s lawyers questioned her current condition after not being allowed into her cell and being denied an opportunity to speak with her on the phone. Guards told the lawyers she was sick and refused to speak with them. In a joint statement the lawyers expressed that the circumstances Leyla is being exposed to in the prison, including being subjected to acts of violence, “raise a lot of concerns”.
Jafarov, now detained for 53 days, since August 2, wrote an appeal earlier this week in which he asserted that he was falsely accused of hiding evidence and not cooperating in the investigation, and that his imprisonment is a result of a government order. “I present my arguments regarding the baselessness of the attribution of each ground to me and the fact that there was a ‘political order,’”he wrote.
Intigam Aliyev has been imprisoned for 47 days, since August 8. Hasan Huseynli, who has been detained for 178 days, since March 30, was recently sentenced to six years in Azerbaijani prison.
These five and 93 other political prisoners held in Azerbaijan were the subject of last week’s Platform London protest outside of BP’s headquarters on September 17. The protest called for BP to end its funding of the authoritarian regime on the anniversary of “the Contract of the Century”. A letter was also given BP, requesting they call on the Aliyev regime to release the 98 political prisoners and that they end their sponsorship of the 2015 Baku European Olympic Games. BP verbally agreed to meet with Platform, but has yet to formally respond to the letter.