Introduction to March 2018 list

Civil society organizations working in Azerbaijan have issued this Report with a view to draw attention to the long-standing problem of political prisoners in Azerbaijan. Despite consistent calls from domestic and international organizations to end the cycle of arrests, releases, and rearrests, authorities have not demonstrated the will to cease the pattern of politically motivated arrests.

The list was developed by the Working Group on a Unified List of Political Prisoners in Azerbaijan, which brings together human rights defenders, lawyers, journalists and experts. The list includes cases of people arrested or remaining in prison by 20 March 2018.

To develop this Report, consultations have been carried out with a number of domestic and international organizations working on the issue of political prisoners; reports of prominent human rights organizations, as well as the relevant documents of international organizations that Azerbaijan is a member of and has commitments to – particularly, Council of Europe – have been examined; media monitoring has been carried out; trial monitoring has been conducted; court judgments and other relevant legal documents have been analyzed; and meetings and interviews were held with the lawyers, families and defence committees of the political prisoners included in this Report. The Report reflects detailed information about each political prisoner, including the original motives behind their arrest, the violations of law committed during the process of their arrest/detention, and photos of political prisoners (though photos of some of the prisoners were not available).

Cases included in the report are divided into the following categories:

  1. Journalists and bloggers
  2. Writers/poets
  3. Human rights defenders
  4. Political and social activists
  5. Religious activists
  6. Lifetime prisoners
  7. Persons arrested in the relation to social protests
  8. Former government officials
  9. Political hostages
  10. Said Dadashbayli and those arrested with him

Some categories are divided into subcategories, which are detailed in the report.

For location of particular incidents, see Azerbaijan and her 10 regions

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