Shahin Novruzlu has been unjustly detained – join with Amnesty International and help release him!
In Azerbaijan, a group of pro-democracy youth activists has been unfairly detained and sentenced for coordinating and participating in peaceful protests. Of the eight detainees, Shahin is the youngest as he was 17 at the time of his arrest.
On the eve of the Azerbaijan presidential election last year, eight youth activists from the civic movement N!DA were arrested after creating a Facebook event calling for a peaceful protest against injustice in the country. Nida, which means exclamation in Azerbaijani, is an Azerbaijani civic movement that was founded in early 2011 and aims to achieve democratic and social changes in Azerbaijan. They currently have over 350 members comprising mainly of young individuals, politicians and activists.
The consequences of their arrest
Azerbaijan has a history of treating captives poorly, and these eight detainees have been subjected to torture and beatings, resulting in broken teeth in one case, and hearing loss in another. The activists have been facing various criminal charges ranging from incitement to riots and illegal storage of explosives to drug possession and hooliganism, and prosecutors are demanding prison sentences from five to eight years. Amnesty International and other human rights organisations believe these charges have been fabricated and that the actual reason for their arrest was their criticism of the Azerbaijani authorities, as well as their online activism, calling for peaceful demonstrations.
As a result of their charges, the activists’ mothers and fathers have declared a hunger strike as a protest against the imprisonment of their children.
Amnesty International steps in to help
Amnesty International has organised an action to be taken to the President of Azerbaijan to urge him to immediately release the NIDA activists.
Supporting Amnesty International
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How you can help
You can do your part to help release Shahin Novruzlu and all eight N!DA activists by writing to the President of Azerbaijan to plead for their release.