Tuesday, June 12

A storm is coming- a new wave of repression in Azerbaijan after Eurovision (Updated)

Updated (June 13th):
Today, June 13th, following a court hearing, Meham Huseynov, was officially released! Congratulations to all friends and supporters!

And here we go... Its only been some weeks after Eurovision but already a new wave of repression is taking place in Azerbaijan. This time, the target is a young photojournalist and a blogger Mehman Huseynov. According to BBC Azerbaijani service [AZ] Huseynov received a subpoena from the police calling him into questioning based on article 221.1 of the Criminal Code- "blamed for hooliganism while showing resistance to government agent fulfilling his duty while protecting the public order or showing resistance to government agent preventing distortion of public order or resisting another person". But the subpoena fails to notify Huseynov whether he is called in as a witness or as a perpetrator. 

The BBC article reports that the Ministry of Internal Affairs stated that young journalist resisted police during a rally organized in front of the Baku City Administrative Office.

I will share more updates as soon as there are any. But so far, this looks nothing less than a new wave of repression by Azerbaijani authorities against young advocates. Looks like there is even an encouragement especially following recent visit by Hilary Clinton to Azerbaijan and little attention that was given to democracy and human rights abuses taking place sporadically and with no valid explanations. The question is, who is going to be next? The whole country?

Updated on June 12th, 2012:
Mehman Huseynov was taken into police custody tonight. He will be held there for two days despite absence of court decision. He is facing a charge on hooliganism and is facing imprisonment. According to this article in Radio Free Europe [AZ] local service, he is facing a year in prison if accusations are proved true. Mehman is also the employee of the Institute for Reporter's Freedom and Safety. Follow this Facebook group for more updates on the case: http://www.facebook.com/groups/375346329198459/?notif_t=group_added_to_group

Here are some links (visit the Facebook page as well for more updates) with Mehman's work:
- http://azerbaijan.usembassy.gov/pr_09212010.html - Mehman, 2010 winner of Democracy Challenge US State Dept. Photo Challenge;
- http://www.ndr.de/fernsehen/sendungen/zapp/medien_politik_wirtschaft/baku207.html - this recent German mini documentary on Eurovision featuring Mehman;
- http://www.youtube.com/user/HOSTEL19AZ - Mehman's personal YouTube channel with over 2.5million views

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