Gary Robbins Urges Azeri Authorities To Review Political Prisoners’


October 17, 2011 – 18:31 AMT

PanARMENIAN.Net – United States Mission to the OSCE Charge d’Affaires
Gary Robbins issued a statement on the convictions of April 2
protesters in Azerbaijan.

“The United States deeply regrets the recent convictions of a number
of opposition activists who participated in peaceful demonstrations
on April 2. These rulings include:

The October 10 verdict of the Nasimi District Court to convict four
activists- Ahad Mammadov, Ulvi Guliyev, Elnur Medzhidli, and Rufat
Hajibeyli – on charges of actions disturbing public order and/or
resisting police;

The October 3 ruling of the Sabail District Court to convict four
activists-Arif Hajili, Tural Abbasli, Mahammad Majidli, and Fuad
Gahramanli-on charges of conspiracy to violate public order for
planning and organizing pro-democracy protests that took place on
April 2;

We further regret decisions by the same court on August 25 to convict
six other activists on similar charges.

We note that the October 11 spot report from the OSCE Office in Baku,
which states that a total of 14 political activists have now been
convicted as a result of the April 2 demonstration. We encourage the
Office to continue its close monitoring of the court proceedings,
including any related appeals.

The United States recalls the Government of Azerbaijan’s obligations
under its Constitution and its OSCE commitments to respect the rule
of law and the rights of all its citizens to freedom of assembly
and freedom of expression. Accordingly, we call upon Azerbaijan’s
judicial authorities to ensure that any appeals of these convictions
are reviewed in accordance with Azerbaijan’s constitutional and
international commitments, which exist to help all Azerbaijanis advance
democratic culture, processes, and institutions in their country,”
the statement said.

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