STATEMENT
Azerbaijan: Lawyers call for the release of Intigam Aliyev

95 lawyers from 24 countries call for the immediate and unconditional release of human rights lawyer Intigam Aliyev. He has been in jail in Azerbaijan since 8 August 2014.

14 Jul 2015
BY INDEX ON CENSORSHIP

In a letter to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, independent lawyers, barristers or attorneys-at-law, expressed concern over the sentencing of their colleague, human rights lawyer Intigam Aliyev: “We call upon you, Mr President, to immediately and unconditionally release Intigam Aliyev and rehabilitate his civil and political rights.”

After six months in detention on spurious charges Intigam Aliyev was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison.

“We identify with Intigam Aliyev”, the lawyers wrote, “because we believe everybody should have a right to a fair trial, just as he does. Yet, Intigam Aliyev’s trial was marred by procedural irregularities and violations of the right to a public hearing and the right to access the files and documents of the case.” In addition, Intigam Aliyev’s attorney managed to prove that he was not guilty of implementing projects without registration, which he was charged with.

All 95 lawyers expressed their sympathy for Intigam Aliyev, as a unique lawyer. Not only is he a teacher for a generation of young Azerbaijanis, but he is also an expert of the European legal system, one of the first Azerbaijani lawyers to
 utilize the European Court of Human Rights and the regional tutor in the Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals (HELP) programme of the Council of Europe.

In the letter the lawyers furter identified with Intigam Aliyev: “For all of us, being a lawyer is a unique privilege. We identify with Intigam Aliyev because in Azerbaijan, any of us could be arrested simply for doing the same work as he did.”

The lawyers included colleagues of Intigam Aliyev, from various Eastern European countries, from within the Human Rights House Network project International Law in Advocacy, of which he is the national expert in Azerbaijan. The signing lawyers also included lawyers invested in human rights, from the United States and Canada, Egypt or Iran, as well as western European countries.

Florian Irminger, head of advocacy at the Human Rights House Foundation, underlines the importance of supporting human rights defenders in Azerbaijan: “The imprisonment of Intigam Aliyev is part of a systematic crackdown on human rights in the country. Arbitrary detention has been used to silence critical voices in Azerbaijan for years, whilst at the same time they exhibit a modern state through major international events. This letter and attention from around 100 lawyers from three continents witness that the outside world are not fooled by the promotion.”

In their letter, the lawyers highlight that the detention conditions of Intigam Aliyev have an impact on his already poor health:

“He suffers from severe chronic headaches in addition to nerve pain and has reportedly been denied of appropriate health care to date.” In their letter, the lawyers urge the Azerbaijani authorities to respect “basic humanitarian principles” and ensure that Intigam Aliyev is receiving “complete and necessary treatment for all medical concerns.”

7 responses to “Azerbaijan: Lawyers call for the release of Intigam Aliyev”

  1. Taleh says:

    It seems like that those who sent this letter is unaware that Mr. Aliyev broke the law.

  2. Tokai says:

    I call upon those 99 lawyers who consider themselves to be unique ones to apply to European Court and other world courts to recognize the massacres/genocide conducted over Azerbaijanis by Armenians, to apply to the world courts to fight for the rights of 1ml Azerbaijani refugees who can not go back home because of cleansing policy of Armenia. This is real and requiring immediate solution problem. I think this would be fair and just not only towards your “collegue”, but also towards the whole nation. Choose better perspectives for future of people, dear representatives of unuqie profession.

  3. Nihad says:

    There are no limits on freedom of expression or media, everything in Azerbaijan is free and we have no political prisoners.

  4. Gurban Gurbanov says:

    Ashamed of lawyers.Intigam broke the law that is all gentleman.The court found him guilty, it would be better if these lawyers have proved his innocence.
    In your country the President can influence the decision of the court? The judiciary is a separate branch of government.

  5. Fidan says:

    Azerbaijan is a legal state. No one is charged here beyond the law. Such articles were inappropriate and biased.

  6. Nargiz İsmayilova says:

    As a legal state, Azerbaijan has conducted major reforms in several fields as well as in political field and will further conduct. Today all political rights, including freedoms of speech and expression have been fully ensured in Azerbaijan.

  7. Namazlı Ali says:

    İntigam Aliyev faces charges under the Criminal Code’s articles #213.1 (tax evasion), #308.2 (abuse of power), and #192.2 (illegal business) and #179.3.2 (assignment or waste).