12 Dec 2019 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 02 Apr 2015 n° 25/2015 Azerbaijan

Media Freedom Activist Emin Huseynov Charged with Tax Evasion and Abuse of Power

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner Article 19
Partner Article 19
Founder of the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS), an NGO monitoring human rights violations against journalists, Emin Huseynov, has previously been arrested and interrogated for his work defending freedom of expression. In 2008 he was arrested for monitoring and covering police raid on peaceful meeting of activists, and was admitted to intensive care after sustaining brain injuries as a result of being beaten at the hands of the police. He still suffers from health problems as a result. In August 2014, Huseynov feared that an arrest was forthcoming (and that his life was in danger) due to his dissident status and the recent arrests of fellow human rights defenders (HRDs) in Azerbaijan. Reportedly, his bank accounts had been frozen, though he was still able to travel. However, when in August 2014 he tried to flee to Turkey, he was prevented from leaving at the border. While away from his Baku-based office, there was a police raid on the IRFS building which prompted speculation that he had been arrested. By dying his hair blonde and speaking in broken English he was able to evade capture by authorities and gain entry to the Swiss embassy, where he resided until June 2015. After Emin Huseynov went into hiding, IRFS and its employees were targeted by authorities. In August 2014, the organisation was raided by authorities, and its operations were shut down.

Huseynov was charged with tax evasion and abuse of power in August 2014. Alerted to the possibility of his imminent arrest, he went into hiding in August 2014, but faces up to 12 years in prison if convicted. On 13 June 2015, Switzerland flew Mr Huseynov out of Azerbaijan.
28 Jun 2018
In May 2018, the ECtHR communicated the application of Emin Huseynov to the Azerbaijani autorities. In his court application, Huseynov asserted that the deprivation of his citizenship violated Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (inhuman or degrading treatment) as well as Article 8 (respect for private life), Article 10 (freedom of expression) and Article 13 (lack of an effective remedy).
13 Jun 2015
State replies
01 Jun 2015
Reply by the Government of Azerbaijan
12 Dec 2019
In her report following her visit to Azerbaijan from 8 to 12 July 2019, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights regrets that no progress has been made regarding the protection of freedom of expression and calls on the authorities to release all those detained because of the views they expressed, notably journalists.
04 Oct 2018
Commissioner Mijatović intervenes before the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Emin Huseynov v. Azerbaijan.
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