We call on the Azerbaijani authorities to free reporter and lawyer Elchin Mammad.
President of Azerbaijan
19 Istiqlaliyyat Street
PEN International and The Norwegian Writers in Prison Committee hereby urge Azerbaijani authorities to immediately and unconditionally release reporter and lawyer Elchin Mammad.
Human rights lawyer and journalist Mammad was arrested in his home on March 30th, only days after he published a critical report on the human rights’ situation in Azerbaijan. He was arrested on alleged charges of jewellery theft.
Elchin Mammad has faced harassment and intimidation by the authorities several times in the past. This prosecution fits a pattern of targeting critical voices with politically motivated arrests on spurious charges. We believe that Mammad’s recent arrest and detention is politically motivated. We worry for his situation and his health in regards to imprisonment during the covid-19 outbreak.
We therefore ask that you immediately release Elchin Mammad.
We furthermore call on Azerbaijani authorities to stop the persecution of journalists and human rights defenders, and to immediately release all those held in prison for having exercised their rights to freedom of opinion and expression.
Mari Moen Holsve
Member of Writers in Prison Committee