Azerbaijani activist nominated by PASOS for human rights prize released from prison
News Source: PASOS Secretariat, Czech Republic
A prominent Azerbaijani human rights defender nominated for the 2014 Václav Havel Human Rights Prize by PASOS is part of a group of political prisoners the Baku regime has decided to release from custody.
Anar Mammadli, who was imprisoned in Azerbaijan because of his efforts to defend the right to free elections in Azerbaijan, was awarded the prize by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), in partnership with the Václav Havel Library and the Charta 77 Foundation.
The Azerbaijani government announced Mammadli’s release on March 17, along with 14 other activists and opposition politicians.
Mammadli is the founder and chairperson of an influential and experienced organization in Azerbaijan dedicated to observing elections. Since 2001, his Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Centre has been carrying out independent election monitoring in Azerbaijan. Mammadli contributed to programs and events on monitoring of elections, participation and education of voters, as well as the design of materials and reports during 13 elections in Azerbaijan.
He was arrested in December 2013 accused of “abuse of power” and other matters, and sentenced to 5 and a half years in prison in May 2014.