#SetThemFree Campaign Updates
On January 22, 2019, the government of Azerbaijan dropped charges brought against anticorruption blogger and political prisoner Mehman Huseynov due to tremendous international pressure. For over three weeks, Mehman undertook a hunger strike in protest of the unfounded charges. In solidarity, a number of #SetThemFree political prisoners joined the hunger strike including: Khadija Ismayilova, Tofiq Yaqublu, Giyas Ibrahimov, and Ilkin Rustamzade. Zafar Ahmadli, the father of political prisoner Fuad Ahmadli, also joined the hunger strike.
In a statement, director of the Human Rights House Foundation Maria Dahle remarked: “To the authorities, we ask that they ensure Mehman Huseynov’s safety in Azerbaijan and end the campaign of repression against him. We ask that they fully reinstate his rights and rehabilitate him, and lift the travel ban he has faced since 2012 and return his identification and official documentation seized in 2013.” Despite this victory, 128 political prisoners remain in Azerbaijan. Watch our recently released video series to hear the stories of five Azeri political prisoners, as told by their families.
According to a report by Human Rights Watch, at least 26 people have been killed and over 350 protesters have been detained since massive demonstrations against President Nicolas Maduro were held on January 23, 2019. Amidst these protests, the wife of former #SetThemFree political prisoner Wilmer Azuaje said the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN) has issued a new warrant for his arrest for unknown reasons. Follow us on Twitter for updates as we learn more.
Region: Eurasia | Latin America / Caribbean | Topic: Freedom of Expression