Target: Chairman of Azerbaijan’s Judicial-Legal Council, Fikrat Mammadov
Goal: Release journalist who reported on human rights issues from jail
The United Nations should investigate the forced return of journalist Rauf Mirgadirov to Azerbaijan from Turkey. Upon his return to Azerbaijan, Mr. Mirgadirov was arrested and placed in jail. During his entire deportation and subsequent jailing, Mr. Mirgadirov was not allowed to contact with his lawyer. In addition, the Azerbaijani government is holding Mr. Mirgadirov without charges while they investigate potential espionage charges. All of the actions taken to bring Rauf Mirgadirov to this point violate international laws. The government of Azerbaijan should immediately and unconditionally release him.
Mr. Mirgadirov lived in Turkey with his family since 2010 as a correspondent for the independent Azerbaijani newspapers, ‘Ayna’ and ‘Zerkalo.’ He and his family had left Azerbaijan in 2010 in order to escape persecution due to his reporting. Mr. Mirgadirov primarily reported on human rights issues in Azerbaijan and Turkey and was openly critical of the political situations in both countries.
The arrest of Rauf Mirgadirov comes shortly before Azerbaijan becomes the head of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers. The Committee of Ministers is Europe’s primary human rights enforcer. Mr. Mirgadirov’s arrest should be condemned for the farce that it is and an investigation should be opened into the events that led to his arrest in Azerbaijan. Sign this petition to demand his release.
Dear Chairman Fikrat Mammadov,
The recent arrest of Rauf Mirgadirov is a violation of his human rights and a disgrace for your country. I ask that you immediately release him and allow him to return to his family in Turkey. The international community is watching. It is obvious that his arrest is politically motivated and that the charges against him false.
The actions of your government will threaten your chairmanship of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers. Your government continues to commit vast human rights abuses and does not deserve to chair such an important position. I ask that you immediately release Mr. Mirgadirov and any individuals currently being held for political reasons.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Ex13 via Wikimedia Commons