Azerbaijan: head of Promoting Democracy NGO given conditional sentence

Emil Mamedov. Image: Front Line Defenders.

Emil Mamedov. Image: Front Line Defenders.

Emil Mamedov, the head of Azerbaijani NGO Promoting Democracy, has been sentenced to one year of prison time following a conditional sentence given in Baku late last week.

Emil Mamedov was originally arrested in May under suspicion of extortion after a former colleague at Promoting Democracy named him during a related criminal trial. Mamdeov was held for five months without trial before being put before a court last week.

Mamedov and his supporters claim that his arrest and sentencing are motivated by politics and the work his NGO does. He claims also that his naming at a previous trial which led to his arrest was only done so under after his former colleague was threatened, a claim which is supported by some involved in the earlier trial.

His conditional sentence and release from authority detention was seen as a victory by some who claim that the release of Mamedov from a politically motivated case is close to full acquittal. It is believed that Mamedov could have faced up to ten years in prison if fully sentenced. Exact details of when he will serve his shortened sentence are currently unknown.


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