Senators Call For Release of Azeri Activist

Bakhtiyar Hajiyev behind bars

WASHINGTON (RFE/RL)—A bipartisan group of five U.S. senators has urged Azerbaijan to release political activist Bakhtiyar Hajiyev immediately.
In a letter to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, the senators called Hajiyev’s arrest and “cruel treatment” a breach of his rights to freedom of expression and association.

Hajiyev, 30, is a former parliamentary candidate in the November 2010 election in Azerbaijan and a Harvard University graduate. He was arrested in March 2011 ahead of a planned demonstration against the Azerbaijani government that he helped organize.

In May 2011, he was convicted of military service evasion and sentenced to two years in prison. He has served half of his term.

The senate signatories are led by Mark Kirk (Republican, Illinois) and Ben Cardin (Democrat, Maryland), and include Barbara Boxer (Democrat, California), Richard Blumenthal (Democrat, Connecticut), and Marco Rubio (Republican, Florida).

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  1. John Markarian said:

    You should have seen the excellent report on German TV Deutsche Welle on illegal home demolishing in Azerbaijan and how the government destroys people’s homes that it wants to build something on. Many hundreds of homes were demolished in Baku to build the stadium for the Eurovision Song contest.
    The report also mentioned that people who resisted their homes from being demolished were beaten up by masked attackers who were from the Azeri government. Furhtermore, the Azeris have demolished people’s homes that sit over oil fields.

  2. Alex Postallian said:

    Hajiyev,was educated in this country,U.S.He finally realized the animalistic,mongloid,behavior,by his brethern,of turk origins,is wrong,and how really stupid his countrymen behavior has set them back in the dark ages.My advise to him,leave the sewer,come to America,where you learned to become a human being,rather than a animal.

  3. Dave-us said:

    I’ve read that Aliyev spent $3bil for his Eurovision disaster followed by his attacks and Clinton meeting “meltdown”.
    It’s clear to the west that he has to be removed from power for Azerbaijan to progress and most of their educated young people (like Hajiyev) know it. I hope you send an enlarged photo of him locked-up to Sec Clinton and any party,(including the Israelis), who would arm this “nut” with weapons should be held personally responsible for their use against Armenians.
    Next time they attack, try turning off their water (Armenia supplies a substantial amount of fresh water to them).
    I’ve also read that the U.S armed and trained their snipers- we need to know the truth about this, now.