The United States called for the immediate release of Tofig Yagublu and Bakhtiyar Hajiyev

US Department of State building. Photo: markvanscyoc / shutterstock.

Ned Price said Washington was concerned about the arrest of both men

The US called on the Azerbaijani authorities to immediately release activists Bakhtiyar Hajiyev and Tofig Yagublu.

On January 9, State Department official Ned Price said this while answering questions at the daily briefing .

Price said that Washington is deeply concerned about the arrest and detention of Bakhtiyar Hajiyev and Tofig Yagublu.

According to him, the United States remains committed to promoting respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

“We once again call on the government to respect the rights of its citizens, including the right to peaceful expression,” Price said.

Bakhtiyar Hajiyev, who has been in prison since December 9, is charged with articles 221.1 (hooliganism) and 289.1 (contempt of court) of the Criminal Code.

He started a hunger strike yesterday.

In the criminal case against Bakhtiyar Hajiyev, the conversation is about a scandal between the social activist and journalist Ulviyya Alovlu. Hajiyev has been complaining to the police for a long time, demanding that Alovlu be brought to criminal responsibility.

Some time ago, a video of what happened during the trial between both parties at the Yasamal District Court was released on social networks. In those images, Hajiyev throws some documents from his hand on a table.

It is claimed that the public activist is accused of hooliganism and contempt of court precisely because of this. However, Hajiyev claims that he was arrested by orders from the Minister of Internal Affairs Vilayat Eyvazov. From time to time, he criticized Vilayat Eyvazov and the activities of the ministry on his social media accounts.

Bakhtiyar Hajiyev and Tofig Yagublu. Photo: Meydan TV

Hajiyev claimed that in April 2022, he was abducted by unknown persons in the center of the capital and subjected to violence. Although a criminal case has been initiated, the perpetrators have not been found yet.

Tofig Yagublu, a member of the National Council and the opposition party Musavat Party, continues his hunger strike, which began on January 5, in prison.

Yagublu was detained at the protest action held on December 23 in Favvaraler Square, in protest against the violation of human rights, including the arrest of social activist Bakhtiyar Hajiyev.

On the same day, by the decision of the Sabail District Court, he was found guilty under articles 510 (petty hooliganism) and 535.1 (disobeying the legal request of the police) of the Code of Administrative Offenses and was sentenced to 30 days of administrative imprisonment.

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