AZERBAIJAN / Detained August 2, 2014
Lawyer, chairman of the Human Rights Council, and prominent human rights defender in Azerbaijan, Rasul Jafarov was arrested for coordinating the “Sing for Democracy” campaign, which used the Eurovision Song Contest as a platform to improve human rights awareness in Azerbaijan. During the Contest, “Sing for Democracy” attracted significant international attention to human rights violations in Azerbaijan. On April 16, 2015, Baku’s Grave Crimes Court convicted Jafarov on a range of charges of tax evasion, abuse of power, illegal business activities, and embezzlement. The court sentenced him to six and a half years in prison.