Azerbaijan: Rasul Jafarov acquitted of all charges and rehabilitated.

On 23 April 2020, the Supreme Court of Azerbaijan acquitted prominent human rights defender Rasul Jafarov of all charges, overturning prior convictions and awarding him compensation for his arbitrary detention.

The human rights lawyer and founder of FIDH member organisation the Human Rights Club was arrested in August 2014 following a government crackdown. He was eventually sentenced to 6.5 years in April 2015 on trumped-up charges aimed solely at ending his legitimate human rights work. Rasul Jafarov was released on 17 March 2016 as part of a mass presidential pardon.

FIDH, through its Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, has followed the case of Rasul Jafarov from the beginning. The case was brought by his lawyers before the European Court of Human Rights who ruled] on 4 July 2016 that his detention was ’unjustified and aimed to punish him for activities as human rights defender.’ The case of Rasul Jafarov has been highlighted by FIDH before key stakeholders through sustained advocacy efforts notably at the Council of Europe level and featured in the #ForFreedom campaign for the release of arbitrarily detained human rights defenders.

FIDH welcomes the acquittal and rehabilitation of Rasul Jafarov and continues its work to end the judicial harassment of all human rights defenders in Azerbaijan.

See also Azerbaijan: Rasul Jafarov finally acquitted!

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