Azerbaijan: Government Detains Revenue Watch Advisory Board Member

Country: Azerbaijan
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Bu məlumatı Azərbaycan dilinə oxuyun.

NEW YORK, February 7, 2013—Revenue Watch expresses concern over the recent detention of two prominent opposition figures, including Ilgar Mammadov, a member of its advisory board.

On February 4, a court in Baku ordered Mammadov, who has announced plans to run for president, and the deputy head of an opposition political party, to two months pretrial detention for allegedly inciting riots in the northwestern town of Ismayilli in January.

Revenue Watch echoed calls by the Council of Europe and the U.S. State Department, through its embassy in Baku, for fair, transparent examination of the detentions. Human rights groups, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, criticized the government action, calling for the release of the prisoners and for the government to uphold due process.

In January, the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly formally criticized the government’s human rights practices, noting “the combination of the restrictive implementation of freedoms with unfair trials and the undue influence of the executive results in the systemic detention of people who may be considered prisoners of conscience.”

“As a member of the Revenue Watch Advisory Board, Mammadov worked with RWI to advance transparency and accountability worldwide,” said Suneeta Kaimal, Deputy Director of Revenue Watch.  “We are concerned that the rights of these activists to a fair and transparent judicial process are not being upheld and call for their immediate release.”

Mammadov is leader of the Republican Alternative, an opposition group. Arrested at the same time was Tofiq Yaqubli, deputy head of the main opposition party, Musavat.   

Revenue Watch offers training and support in Azerbaijan and across the Eurasian region for civil society organizations, members of parliament and journalists to work more effectively to improve governance of oil, gas and mining resources.

For more information, please contact:
Robert Ruby: +1-917-443-2392; or rruby@revenuewatch.org

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