Detention of human rights defenders Intigam Aliyev

Aliyev v Azerbaijan (Application No 68762/14), part of the Ilgar Mammadov group of cases

Briefed on 20 May 2019

Intigam Aliyev was prosecuted for ‘illegal entrepreneurship’, ‘large-scale tax evasion’ and ‘aggravated abuse of power’ in August 2014. He was convicted and sentenced to 7 ½ years’ imprisonment in April 2015. The European Court found violations of Arts 3, 5(1), 5(4), 8, 18 in conjunction with Arts 5 & 8.

Prof. Philip Leach, from the European Human Rights Advocacy Centre, presented his recommendations regarding individual and general measures needed to implement the judgment, as well as the judgment on Rasul Jafarov. He set out the judgment of the Court under Article 46, including the explicit requirement that measures should be taken to restore Mr Aliyev’s ability to carry out his professional activities. He therefore called for the following from the Committee of Ministers:

1)     Payment of just satisfaction

2)     Re-examination of criminal cases

3)     Return of all documents and equipment of his NGO

4)     Access to frozen bank accounts

5)     Lifting of travel ban

Finally, Mr Leach called for general measures to be requested:

-        An action plan on these cases (Aliyev and Jafarov)

-        Reform of law and practices on status of NGO and grants

-        Ensuring enabling environment for human rights defenders

-        End all harassment of human rights defenders

-        Run investigations into such harassment