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Health of imprisoned rights activist Intigam Aliyev at risk in Azerbaijan

This statement was originally published on freedomhouse.org on 27 May 2015.

In response to Azerbaijani authorities' denial of medical assistance to imprisoned human rights lawyer Intigam Aliyev, Freedom House issued the following statement:

"It is inhumane and cruel for Azerbaijani authorities to deny medical care to Aliyev, a human rights lawyer who was sentenced on trumped-up charges and while in prison has developed a spine condition that prevents him from normal movement and causes him tremendous pain," said Robert Herman, Freedom House Vice President for Programs. "The shameful treatment of Aliyev is akin to the brutality inflicted on Sergei Magnitsky in Russia in 2009. We urge Azerbaijani authorities to provide Aliyev with immediate medical assistance and release him, along with all other political prisoners, who should never have gone to prison in the first place."

Background:

On April 22, the Baku Court on Grave Crimes, sentenced Aliyev, age 52, to 7½ years in prison on false charges of tax evasion, "illegal entrepreneurship," and embezzlement. Aliyev had prepared and referred more than 200 cases of political rights violations in Azerbaijan to the European Court of Human Rights from 1998 to 2014.

Azerbaijan is rated Not Free in "Freedom in the World 2015", Not Free in "Freedom of the Press 2015", Partly Free in "Freedom on the Net 2014", and receives a democracy score of 6.68 on a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 as the worst possible score, in "Nations in Transit 2014".

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