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Azerbaijan: Activists sentenced for role in peaceful protests

last updated Oct 04, 2011

Three opposition activists have been sentenced by a court in Baku to two and a half years in prison for their role in the organisation of peaceful demonstrations on 2 April 2011. Another opposition member received a suspended sentence and will be put under house arrest for two years. The court charged them with violation of public order. The protest on 2 April was violently dissolved by the police.

Amnesty International (AI) has urged the authorities to release Arif Hajili, Tural Abbasli and Mahammad Majidli and condemned the conviction. Nicola Duckwort, AIís Director for Europe and Central Asia called for an end of harassment and imprisonment of people calling for political reform and an end to government corruption.

All of the convicted persons claim they were physically abused while in custody. The trial has been held in absence of journalists and opposition politicians. The police surrounded the court building to prevent a large crowd of supporters of the convicted men from entering.

AI: Azerbaijan: Opposition activists sentenced over peaceful protests

World Bulletin: Azerbaijan jails opposition activists

Azerbaijan country profile