Labor activist Afieddin Mammadov arrested following joint statement against new courier regulation

Afiyəddin Məmmədov

On August 1, 2023, Afieddin Mammadov, the Chairman of the Working Table of the HIK (Confederation of Labor Table Trade Unions), found himself in legal trouble after being detained and subsequently sentenced to 30 days of administrative imprisonment.

The arrest came shortly after he, along with the Courier Union Trade Union, made a press conference to announce a joint statement voicing concerns about a new law amendment.

The amendment, adopted by the Milli Majlis on December 16, 2022, mandates that motorcycles with a speed limit exceeding 50 km/h must have a registration plate and driver’s license. However, the availability of customs declarations required for obtaining registration plates has become a significant issue. Motorcycle sales points, allegedly evading taxes, have been refusing to provide the necessary documents.

In the joint statement, the Working Table, representing the interests of courier workers, and the Courier Union Trade Union, urged the Parliament of the Republic of Azerbaijan and other relevant institutions to promptly address and resolve the matter in the best interest of courier workers. The statement affirmed that “the corruption in the country shows itself in this area as well.”

Afieddin Mammadov’s arrest, following the issuance of the joint statement, raises questions about potential connections between his activism as the Chairman of the Working Table and his advocacy against the new regulation.

Ahmet Mammadli, chairman of the “Democracy-1918” Movement, of which Mammadov is a member, argue that his arrest could be a result of his efforts to challenge the status quo and fight against labor exploitation in Azerbaijan.

As of now, Afieddin Mammadov faces administrative imprisonment, and the circumstances surrounding his trial have raised concerns about due process and fair treatment.

He was stopped by people in civilian clothes and forced into a car while he was going home after the press conference and it is reported that Mammadov was followed during that action and then detained while going home. Additionally, he was brought before the court and judge without his lawyer present.

It is worth noting that this is not the first time Afieddin Mammadov has faced legal issues due to his activism. He has previously been arrested on charges of resisting the police, but he has consistently maintained that these accusations are baseless and driven by his dedication to social causes and workers’ rights. One particular incident during a previous arrest involved allegations of torture after he refused to provide access to his phone’s password.

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