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Detention of Rasul Jafarov

Date: 2014-08-02

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Author: IDFI

Posted Category : Local NGO representative,Court,Other,Azerbaijan,

Human rights activist Rasul Jafarov was sentenced to 6 years and 6 months in prison. He was arrested on August 2, 2014 on charges of illegal entrepreneurship (Article 192 of the Criminal Code), tax system (Article 213) and abuse of office (Article 308). His detention term was extended by three months on October 23. On December 12, additional charges were brought against him under Articles 179.3.2 (embezzlement allegedly causing damage to third parties identified as "victims" by the investigative body) and 313 (service forgery). In addition to his imprisonment term, Mr. Jafarov had to cover the cost of 350 Manat (approx. 310 Euros) for court expertise. 

International observatory delegation, created by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), observing the trial against Rasul Jafarov declared that "the trial was based on trumped-up charges and that there is no evidence of Mr. Jafarov's guilt". Consequently, the observatory delegation called for the immediate release of the human rights activist and all the other arbitrarily detained defenders. 

It is noteworthy that Rasul Jafarov actively participated in the "Sing for Democracy" and the "Art of Democracy" movements ahead of the Eurovision song contest in Baku in May 2012, and was planning a campaign called "Sports for Human Rights" prior to the European Games which took place in Baku in June 2015. Mr. Jafarov is also the HEad of the "Human Rights Club", established in December 2010. Despite repeated attempts to register his NGO with the Azerbaijan government, registration was refused several times by the authorities.