Don’t Jail Activists for a Decade on Allegedly Fabricated Charges

Target: President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan

Goal: Vacate 10-year sentences for activists Bayram Mammadov and Giyas Ibrahimov and release the two from confinement unconditionally.

In Azerbaijan two activists have been sentenced to ten years in prison based upon allegedly fabricated drug charges. The two men, Bayram Mammadov and Giyas Ibrahimov, were arrested the day after painting political graffiti on a statue of late President Heydar Aliyev, the father of the current president of Azerbaijan.

Police claim to have found eight grams of heroin in their possession; however, both men claim that the police planted the drugs on them. These claims are supported by the fact that the two men were only questioned about their involvement in graffiti and that the only witnesses to their alleged crimes are themselves allegedly in the employ of the police. Further, both men were allegedly beaten in police custody in order to coerce public apologies for the graffiti. Officers also reportedly filmed them cleaning precinct toilets in order to humiliate them. Both men are members of Azerbaijan’s pro-democracy movement. Sign our petition and demand that Azerbaijani authorities vacate these sentences, and unconditionally release Mr. Mammadov And Mr. Ibrahimov.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Aliyev,

I was shocked to hear that Bayram Mammadov and Giyas Ibrahimov have been sentenced to 10 years in prison. Their incarceration represents a significant step backwards for human rights in Azerbaijan. Arrested the day after spraying graffiti on a statue, they were interrogated about the graffiti and pressured to make public apologies. However, rather than charges of vandalism, they have been charged and convicted of drug possession despite there being no independent witnesses. These charges strain credulity and undermine the integrity of your nation’s justice system.

Both Giyas Ibrahimov and Bayram Mammadov allege they were tortured in custody. Despite the fact that these claims call into question the entire investigation, there has been no investigation. I urge you to ensure that these claims are investigated and that theses two men are immediately and unconditionally released.

Sincerely,

[Your Name here]

Photo Credit: Barnellbe

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