I am concerned about the recent incarceration of Tofig Yagublu, an Azerbaijani opposition politician and journalist, who has faced years of harassment for his peaceful activism. Tofig Yagublu was arrested in the capital Baku on 22 March following a car accident in which he was involved. The next day, a Baku City Court remanded Tofig Yagublu in custody for three months. He is suspected of hooliganism and may face up to seven years in jail if convicted.
Tofig Yagublu’s family are worried about his health. Whilst in detention, Tofig Yagublu is particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, the virus which is spreading fast in Azerbaijan as it is in many other countries.
In light of the above, I urge you to:
- Take all necessary steps to ensure Tofig Yagublu’s immediate release, and to ensure his health is not at risk;
- Should there be any well-founded reason to suspect Tofig Yagublu, or any person in Azerbaijan, of any violations, ensure that they receive fair trial and enjoy associated rights, including the right to access to a lawyer and representation by a lawyer of their own choice;
- End the persecution of Tofig Yagublu and ensure that every person in Azerbaijan can enjoy their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.