Update 25 June: Reports suggest that Tural Abbasli and some of the other prisoners of conscience have been pardoned. We're investigating the reports and hope to confirm them shortly. In the meantime, please continue to call for the charges against Mehman Huseynov to be dropped
23 year-old activist and journalist Mehman Huseynov was arrested last week on bogus ‘hooliganism’ charges. He was released on bail the following evening, but if convicted faces up to five years in prison. He appears to have been targeted for highlighting abuses during the Eurovision Song Contest, which took place in Baku last month.
Please write to the President of Azerbaijan asking for the release of all prisoners of conscience, and for the charges against Mehman Huseynov to be dropped.
President of the Azerbaijan Republic
Office of the President of the Azerbaijan Republic
19 Istiqlaliyyat Street
I am writing to you to express my very deep concern regarding journalist and pro-democracy activist Mehman Huseynov who I understand is facing up to five years in jail following his arrest on 12 June 2012 on charges of ‘hooliganism’. This is despite eyewitnesses contradicting police claims that he committed acts of violence. It appears that Mehman has been targeted for highlighting abuses during the recent Eurovision Song Contest.
I call on you to ensure that the charges against Mehman Husyenov are dropped immediately, and that the harassment and persecution of activists for exercising their right to freedom of expression in the aftermath of the Eurovision Song Contest is ended.
I would also like to take this opportunity to call for an end to the politically motivated trials of activists and peaceful protesters.
My thanks for your urgent attention to this important matter.