Azerbaijani court jails youth opposition activist for 10 years

October 25, 2016 9:30 pm

The file photo shows Azeri youth activist Giyas Ibrahimov alongside a member of the security forces.

An Azerbaijani court has sentenced a youth activist to 10 years in prison as the government has come under fire over its pervasive crackdown on dissent in the Caucasus country.
On Tuesday, a court in the Azeri capital city of Baku found 21-year-old Giyas Ibrahimov guilty of drug trafficking.
Ibrahimov is a member of NIDA Civic Movement, a youth opposition movement that is highly critical of the Azeri government.
Elchin Sadykhov, a lawyer representing Ibrahimov, said rights advocates dismissed the charges brought against his client as politically motivated.
Ibrahimov was detained in May along with fellow activist Bayram Mammadov for painting anti-government graffiti on a monument in Baku to late Azeri president, Heydar Aliyev, the father of current President Ilham Aliyev. The campaigners were later accused of drug possession.
Human Rights Watch (HRW), however, accused Azeri authorities of using spurious drug charges to pursue long prison sentences against the pair. The rights group also called on the officials to immediately free the activists and investigate the credible allegations that they were ill-treated in police custody.
has a sad history of fabricating drug charges against youth activists to intimidate them and deter others from following suit,” said Giorgi Gloria, the South Caucasus director at HRW.
Last month, Azeri voters overwhelmingly backed constitutional changes to extend Aliyev’s term in office. However, opposition and rights groups denounced the referendum as a ploy to cement the powers of the president.
Skip to toolbar
shared on