Human rights defender Intigam Aliyev waits for justice

Intigam Aliyev.jpg

Intigam Aliyev is an Azerbaijani lawyer and human rights activist. He’s known for winning important cases at the European Court of Human Rights, protecting the rights of other human rights defenders.

In 2014 he was arrested in order to silence and punish him for his human rights activities. His home and his office were searched and his files were seized. He was put in prison, where he lived in a tiny overcrowded cell with poor sanitary conditions. The authorities also closed the NGO he worked at, which had helped to represent people in front of the European Court of Human Rights.

Judgment of the European Court of Human Rights:

The Court found that Mr Aliyev had been arrested unlawfully and that the motivation had been political.

The Court also ruled that the case was one part of a wider tendency of the government to arbitrarily arrest political opponents or human rights activists. It required the government to cease these activities and adopt measures to protect human rights defenders.

Current Status:

 Mr Aliyev was released in 2016. However, on the same day the Supreme Court changed his prison sentence into a suspended sentence. He has still not been pardoned, meaning that he is barred from exercising his profession as a lawyer in order to protect other persecuted human rights defenders, journalists and politicians.