Urgent Interventions

Azerbaijan : arbitrary detention of Mr. Ilgar Ibragimoglu


AZE 003/1203/OBS 068
Arbitrary detention
17 December 2003

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the FIDH and the OMCT, requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Azerbaijan.

Brief description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed by the Human Rights Center of Azerbaijan (HRCA) of the arbitrary detention of Mr. Ilgar Ibragimoglu, leader coordinator of the Center for the Protection of Conscience and Religious Freedoms (DEVAMM) and Secretary General of the International Religious Liberty Association (IRLA Azerbaijan), on 3 December 2003.

According to the information received, the Nasimi district Court of Baku city ordered to arrest Mr. Ibragimoglu for a period of three months. The court hearing was extremely quick and the lawyers were not considered. Mr. Ibragimoglu was accused of participating in troubles to public order and of resisting to the representatives of the authorities in the aftermath of the presidential elections, on 16th of October 2003. Mr. Ibrahimoglu has allegedly been the subject of smear campaigns in the electronic and printed media which started to spread the false information that Mr. Ibragimoglu had taken part in these events.

The Observatory recalls that Mr. Ibrahimoglu had been threatened of being arrested on 17th October and had to seek refuge in the Norwegian Embassy from 17th to 19th October (See Urgent appeal of the Observatory AZE 002/1003/ OBS 058). These threats seemed to be directly linked with the participation of DEVAMM in the work of the democratic coalition “Bizim Azerbaijan” a coalition of around 30 political parties and NGOS in support of the candidacy of Isa Qmbar, the Chairman of opposition Musavat Party.

Moreover, the Observatory has been informed of acts of harassment against the members of the Committee for Protection of Mr. Bragimoglu’s rights, composed notably of members of DEVAMM and IRLA, which has been created after his arrest. In the evening of December 4th, approximately at the same time in different part of Baku, the home of DEVAMM’s press-secretary, Mr. Seymur Rashidov, as well as the home of DEVAMM’s driver, Mr. Shahin Gasanov were visited by the staff of the local police departments. Without showing any official writing paper, they orally asked that the above persons come to the police department. As Mr. Rashidov was not at home at that time, the policemen called him on his mobile phone. During the telephone conversation, the policemen said to him that he must come, the latest, on the 5th of December at 9 a.m. to the 27th police department of Yasamal district and that then, they will drive him somewhere else for five minutes. Being asked by Mr. Rashidov where exactly they were going to take him, the representative of the law enforcement bodies refused to answer. Finally, Mr. Rashidov was summoned to the Prosecutor office on December 11th, where he was interrogated and then, went back home.

The Observatory notes that this arrest takes place in the context of repression of all those who have taken position in favour of a democratic regime and political change during the last presidential elections in Azerbaijan. More generally, the Observatory recalls that DEVAMM is targeted as such, in reason of its denunciations of religious persecutions, including against Christians, and its educational activities.

Actions requested:

Please write to the Azerbaijani authorities and urge them to:

i. Guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Ilgar Ibragimoglu, Mr. Seymur Rashidov and Mr. Shahin Gasanov;
ii. Release Mr. Ilgar Ibragimoglu immediately, since his detention is arbitrary;
iii. Put an end to all forms of harassment to which Mr. Ilgar Ibragimoglu, Mr. Seymur Rashidov, Mr. Shahin Gasanov and the members of DEVAMM have been subjected;
iv. To conduct a fair, impartial and independent inquiry into these events, in order to identify the authors, bring them to justice and pronounce sentences proportional to the gravity of their crimes;
v. Conform with the provisions of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 9th December 1998, in particular its article 1 which states that "every person has the right, individually or collectively, to promote the protection and fulfilment of human rights and fundamental liberties at the national and international level";
vi. Guarantee the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and other international instruments ratified by Azerbaijan.


· President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Office of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, 19 Istiqlaliyyat St., Baku AZ1066, Azerbaijan, Fax: +994 12 92 06 25, +994 12 92 28 68, E-mail:,,

· Prosecutor's Office, 7 Nigar Rafibeyli St., Baku, Azerbaijan, Fax: +994 12 92 06 82, +994 12 92 26 63, E-mail:

· Minister of Internal Affairs of the Azerbaijani Republic, Lt.-Gen. Ramil Usubov, Fax: + 994 12 92 45 90

· S.E. l'Ambassadeur, Rue de Lausanne 67, CH-1202, Genève, Suisse, e-mail :, fax: +4122 901 18 44

Paris – Geneva, 17 December 2003

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code number of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory, a joint FIDH and OMCT venture, is dedicated to the protection of Human Rights Defenders and aims to offer them concrete support in their time of need.

To contact the Observatory, call the Emergency line
New coordinates :
Tel FIDH 33 (0) 1 43 55 20 11 OMCT : + 41 22 809 49 39
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