Recently pardoned political prisoner Giyas Ibrahimov called to police

Just a few days before, Bayram Mammadov, another youth activist who was recently released from prison, had been re-arrested and sentenced to 30 days in prison for allegedly resisting police.

Giyas Ibrahimov, a youth activist who was among the political prisoners recently released by President Ilham Aliyev’s Novruz pardon decree, has reportedly been called to the police several times. Just a few days earlirer, Bayram Mammadov, another recently pardoned youth activist had been re-arrested and sentenced to 30 days in prison for allegedly resisting police.

“They first called me to the Baku city police office and now they want me to come to the Nizami district police office," Ibrahimov said in an interview with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Azerbaijani Service. While speaking to RFE/RL journalists, police officers were reportedly waiting for him in front of his apartment.

Even though police officers did not tell him why he is being called to the police, Ibrahimov believes the reason is Bayramov’s recent arrest. “I asked them to send me an official request, but they don’t do it. They told me they are calling me for a ‘prophylactic conversation”, he explained.

Ibrahimov and Mammadov were both sentenced to ten years in prison on trumped-up charges after they sprayed a graffiti on the statue of former Azerbaijani president Heydar Aliyev. Amnesty International has called their arrest “a shocking assault on freedom of expression” and “a travesty of justice”.

They were pardoned by presidential decree on 17 March, along with 51 other political prisoners. Just two weeks later, Mammadov was detained again after reportedly telling news agency Turan that he does not regret his actions and would spray the graffiti again as a sign of protest.

“Bayram Mammadov’s re-arrest is yet another example of the Azerbaijani government’s intolerance to criticism and contempt for free speech," said Giorgi Gogia, associate Director of Human Rights Watch’s Europe and Central Asia division, urging Azerbaijani authorities to release Mammadov and “ensure accountability for his detention including any ill-treatment.”

According to the

Ministry of Internal Affairs

, there is “nothing dangerous” about Ibrahimov being called to the police. Eshan Zadigov, head of the Ministry’s press service, said it was a normal procedure for everyone pardoned by the Novruz decree, to explain the rules.

Ana səhifəNewsRecently pardoned political prisoner Giyas Ibrahimov called to police