Thursday, March 17, 2016

Dispatches: Good News from Azerbaijan (For a Change)

Giorgi Gogia,

Image from article, with caption: Human rights defender Rasul Jafarov at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly in Baku in June 2014. Jafarov is now on trial in Azerbaijan

President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan signed a decree today for the Novruz holiday, pardoning 148 prisoners, among them thirteen journalists, human rights defenders, and activists, who had been prosecuted on politically motivated charges.
The pardon list includes: human rights campaigner Rasul Jafarov . ...
Were it not for their principled leadership, Jafarov and others would probably have remained behind bars. So I say a heartfelt thanks, and must also urge them to continue to use their effective public diplomacy to secure the freedom of Intigam Aliyev; Khadija Ismayilova, and Ilgar Mammadov and others. 

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