TBILISI, DFWatch–Azerbaijani authorities released from prison Intigam Aliyev, a lawyer and human rights activist, on March 28, as the court in Baku commuted his 7.5 years-long term to a suspended 5 year sentence, Radio Liberty Azerbaijan reported.
This case came eleven days after Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev pardoned 14 people, widely regarded as political prisoners, on the eve of Novruz festivities.
Human rights groups and international organizations previously called for the release of a number of prisoners on this list, including opposition politician Tofig Yagublu, and human rights activists, Rasul Jafarov and Anar Mammadli.
The newly released prisoners include all of these, as well as Rauf Mirgadirov and Parviz Hashimli, journalists; Rashadat Akhundov, Mahammad Azizov and Rashad Hasanov, N!DA youth movement activists; Taleh Khasmammadov, human rights defender; Siraj Karimli, a blogger; journalist Hilal Mammadov; blogger Omar Mammadov; chairman of the National Statehood Party Nemat Penahli; member of the opposition Musavat Party Yadigar Sadigov, and former government official Akif Muradverdiyev
Still, over a dozen of prominent opposition and civil society people remain in prison, including Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova, and opposition leader Ilgar Mammadov.