Azerbaijan: UN experts urge release of ailing Government critic Huseyn Abdullayev

Geneva, 27 April, 2021.- UN human rights experts* today urged the immediate release of infirm inmate Huseyn Abdullayev, a vocal opponent of the Government of Azerbaijan, who has been granted asylum in Germany on political grounds.

Mr. Abdullayev was arrested in Turkey on 21 April 2018 and forcibly transferred to Azerbaijan the following day. On 1 October 2019, he was sentenced to six years in prison by the Baku Military Court.

In August 2020, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention concluded in its Opinion No. 48/2020 that the detention of Mr. Abdullayev was arbitrary given the absence of a legal basis. It was also established that basic guarantees of due process and a fair trial were not respected, including the trial proceedings before a Military Court, despite Mr. Abdullayev’s civilian status. The Working Group further concluded that the extradition of Mr. Abdullayev, who was entitled to international protection, to Azerbaijan by Turkey violated the principle of non-refoulement.

“We have received reports that Mr. Abdullayev’s physical and mental health condition is deteriorating, including by presenting a critical increase in his arterial blood pressure. In addition, he is experiencing a severe neurosis,” the experts said, adding that he had recently started a hunger strike to protest his detention.

The Working Group called upon the Government of Azerbaijan to immediately release Mr. Abdullayev, and for the Governments of Turkey and Azerbaijan to provide compensation and other reparations.

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