Activists of NIDA youth movement, who were released following the March 17 presidential decree, reunited with their families and loved ones. Rashadat Akhundov, Rashad Hasanov, Mammad Azizov and Omar Mammadov were among the prisoners pardoned under President Ilham Aliyev’s
Rashadat Akhundov, a youth activist and board member of the NIDA Civic Movement, was sentenced to eight years in prison in May 2014 on charges of organizing mass disorders, and illegal drugs and weapons possession. Rashad Hasanov and Mammad Azizov were sentenced to 7.5 years in the same trial, which many described as politically motivated. Omar Mammadov, a prominent blogger and activist, was sentenced to five years in January 2014 on narcotics charges.