The South Caucasus Network of Human Rights Defenders

The Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety (IRFS) resolutely condemns the 30 December 2008 decision of Azerbaijan's National Television and Radio Council (NTRC) to cease the FM broadcasts of Azerbaijan's three foreign radio broadcasters, Radio Free Europe (RFERL), Voice of America (VOA) and the British Broadcasting Company (BBC), as of 1 January 2009.
[03.04.2015] Declined solicitations
Trial into the criminal case against Azerbaijan human rights defender Rasul Jafarov was renewed in the Baku Court on Grave Crimes at 11:00 am on March 31; locals said during Tsarist Russia the building of the court was used as a stable for horses. Representatives of the EU Mission and US Embassy in Baku, of local and foreign nongovernmental organizations attended the hearing.
On February 24, discussion of the criminal case against Rasul Jafarov, founder of the Human Rights Club, was renewed in the Baku Court on Grave Crimes. The Azerbaijan human rights defender, which was declared prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International, was brought to the court with handcuffs, just like detainees accused of grave crimes. Before the trial started the handcuffs were removed from him, but during the 15-minute break he was taken from the courtroom with handcuffs on his hands.
On Tuesday, 17 February, the Russian lawyer Illarion Vasiliev observed the hearing of the human rights lawyer Intigam Aliyev at the Court of Grave Crimes in Baku, Azerbaijan. The testimony illustrates what a courtroom in Azerbaijan looks like and how justice is conducted against one of the leaders of the Azerbaijani civil society, arrested in August 2014 in the midst of an unprecedented repression against civil society.
Azerbaijan Court started the substantial hearing of Rasul Jafarov’s case, a famous Azerbaijan human rights defender. On February 10, the accused person and three victims were questioned at the trial in the Baku Court on Grave Crimes. However, many questions remained unclear after the process. It is noteworthy that there were no links between the case materials and victim testimonies. The character of Azerbaijan court hearings is also very significant.
Since August 2014, the human rights defender Emin Huseynov has been forced into hiding in Azerbaijan to ensure his protection from a wave of repression in the country. Only after he went into hiding the authorities officially charged him.
On February 3, substantial hearing into the criminal case against famous Azerbaijan human rights defender Intigam Aliyev started with an unexpected decision of the court collegium at the Baku Court on Grave Crimes. Straight after the trial started, the judge ordered to release the human rights defender from the cage without any solicitations from the parties. A rusty lock clanged and Intigam Aliyev was allowed to sit next to his lawyers in the courtroom. The audience greeted the political prisoner with applauses.
On January 27, a preparatory hearing was held in Baku Grave Crimes Court, on the case of human rights defender, founder and chairman of Human Rights Club Rasul Jafarov.
The construction of the residential blocks # 204 and 205 started in Zgvisubani micro district II close to Tbilisi Sea in 1990s. From 2003 homeless people started to occupy spaces in the semi-constructed blocks. The inhabitants claim they renovated the spaces with their own resources before 2007 and created there a minimum of living conditions. In 2006 the buildings were registered as a state property and assigned to the Tbilisi City Hall in 2008; the latter assigned the building to Metromsheni. Nevertheless, the dispute about the flats in the blocks is still going on. Since 2007 there have been several attempts of eviction of the homeless people from the blocks. Last notification about planned eviction was sent to the inhabitants on October 14, 2014. 67 families will not leave the flats. They renovated the flats with their own resources and plan to struggle to keep them.
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