Amnesty International Victory! Azerbaijani youth activists Bayram Mammadov and Giyas Ibrahimov were released last weekend following a Presidential pardon on March 16. The Presidential decree was signed to mark Nowruz, the Azerbaijani new year holiday, pardoning more than 400 people including youth activists and opposition politicians unjustly imprisoned on trumped-up charges. Bayram and Giyas were jailed in May of 2016 and subjected to torture for painting political graffiti on the statue of Azerbaijan’s former President Heydar Aliyev. The Azerbaijan authorities claimed that the police discovered drugs in their possession at the time of their arrest. A claim that Bayram and Giyas emphatically deny. They were convicted and faced up to 12 years in prison.
Sincere thanks to First Parish congregants who signed letters on behalf of the young men during our Annual Write for Rights event in December of 2016.
“Write a Letter, Change a Life!”