Ban on travel for activists continues (Updated)

Updated on September 9:

According to the local reports, Nuri was questioned in an investigation department for Serious Crimes as a witness in the case launched against a number of nongovernmental organizations. His lawyer declined to disclose any further information while Nuri in an interview with Turan said his health has deteriorated due to stress.

Updated on September 8:

The General Prosecutor Office commented on a recent ban on Said Nuri leaving the country as mandatory given Nuri is a witness in a criminal case. He is still treated as an Azerbaijani citizen despite his new citizenship.

Yesterday, September 4, reports of an American citizen of Azerbaijani origin being prevented from leaving the country were circulated widely on social networks in Azerbaijan.

Said Nuri, acquired US citizenship after leaving the country several years ago. The reason for his departure was an investigation launched against him on suspicion of conspiring to stage a coup against the Azerbaijani government in 2005. At that time he was running the youth group, Yeni Fikir [New Idea] which had loose ties to the Popular Front Party – one of the oldest opposition parties in Azerbaijan.

During this investigation several other members from the movement were charged, including the leader of the group

Ruslan Bashirli

and deputy chairperson Ramin Tagiyev. While Bashirli was charged with conspiring against the government using the support of Armenian special services, Tagiyev was charged for his alleged role in the coup. Their charges were later amended to all three being convicted for an attempt to forcefully overthrown the government and of engaging in illegal business activities. The three men were arrested in August and September of 2005. Human Rights Watch


the case as “politically motivated”. 2005 was the year of the parliamentary elections and many more activists and political party members were arrested prior to the elections on similar charges (A more detailed description of the case available



Nuri, was visiting his family on a visa issued by Azerbaijani embassy in Washington D.C. On his departure at the airport he was informed by an airport employee that he was no allowed to leave the country based on a request by the National Security Ministry and the prosecutor- general office.

This is Nuri’s fourth visit to the country.

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