AZERBAIJAN / Detained February 6, 2013
UPDATE: Ilgar lost his petition to acquit with Court of Appeals in April 2016 and was stripped of his right to be elected in MP in May 2016.
On February 1, 2017, 76 human rights organizations spoke out against Azerbaijan’s state-sponsored harassment when they issued a public letter to leaders of the European Council, European Commission and the European Union (EU), urging them all to insist on “lasting human rights reforms.” The letter came shortly before President Aliyev met to negotiate partnerships agreement with the EU and Azerbaijan. Among the most vocal commentators on the Azerbaijani government’s partnerships with other countries is Ilgar Mammadov, political prisoner and leader of the opposition party Republicans Alternative Movement (RAM). On January 20, 2017, Mammadov voiced his opposition to government corruption in Azerbaijan from prison in his public letter published on, and called upon the international community to speak out against the partnerships Azerbaijan attempts to foster with institutions like the EU. Read his powerful letter here.
Ilgar Mammadov was arrested shortly after traveling to the northern town of Ismayilli, where citizens were protesting alleged repression by the local governor. Mammadov was widely considered a likely candidate for the presidential elections in October 2013. His arrest came months prior to the elections. The European Court of Human Rights issued its finding that Mammadov’s detention violated human rights provisions, and the Court ordered Azerbaijan authorities to pay compensation to Mammadov. However, Mammadov remains in prison to date. Lend your voice and share a solidarity tweet to help #SetThemFree!