Rasul Jafarov held in pre-trial detention for a further three months

Civil Rights Defenders has learned that Azerbaijani human rights defender Rasul Jafarov will be kept in remand for a further three months. At a closed session of Nasimi District Court in Baku on October 23 the Prosecutor’s Office succeeded in their petition to have his pre-trial detention extended.

According to Rasul’s lawyer, Fariz Namazli, the prosecution claimed that if the human rights defender was released he could hide from the authorities and falsify documents posing an escape risk. This is despite the fact that there is a travel ban in place prohibiting Rasul from leaving the country.

“Civil Rights Defenders is dismayed by the decision of the Courts, which once again demonstrates the totalitarian nature of the regime in Azerbaijan. We call on the Prosecutor’s Office to present credible evidence before an independent Court of Justice or immediately and unconditionally release Rasul Jafarov” says Robert Hårdh, Executive Director of Civil Rights Defenders.

The Prosecutors Office succeeded in their petition to have Rasul kept behind bars despite his appeals to the Court to replace this punitive measure with house arrest instead. The arrest and detention of Rasul is one of many recent cases that have taken place in Azerbaijan as the government continues to relentlessly crackdown on civil society.

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About Rasul Jafarov:
As the chairman of the HRC, Rasul Jafarov coordinated the “Sing for Democracy” campaign which used the Eurovision Song Contest as a platform to improve human rights awareness in Azerbaijan. During the contest, “Sing for Democracy” attracted significant international attention to human rights violations in Azerbaijan. In December 2012, “Sing for Democracy” was expanded and rebranded as “Art for Democracy,” which Rasul Jafarov continues to lead.

In 2012 Rasul Jafarov was responsible for the, “Expression Online Initiative”, which used the annual conference, ”Internet Governance Forum”, in Baku as a platform to monitor, protect and influence the exercise of freedoms in cyberspace. The campaign continues to expand Internet freedoms by protecting online activists, streamlining and initiating new Internet freedom legislation, as well as engaging in practical solutions to protect Internet rights.

Categories: News.
Tags: Azerbaijan, Freedom of expression, Freedom of Speech, and Rasul Jafarov.
Regions: Azerbaijan.