Human rights lawyer, conditionally released on 28 March 2016.
ROLE: Chairman of the Legal Education Society and award-winning human rights lawyer. One of the main lawyers litigating cases of human rights violations in Azerbaijan at the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), he has made over 200 applications and has won more than 40 cases in the last 20 years.
FOCUS: Protecting human rights at the international level.
ARREST: 8 August 2014
SENTENCING: On 22 April 2015, Aliyev was sentenced to seven and a half years’ imprisonment.
CHARGE: Tax evasion (Article 213 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan), illegal enterprise (Article 192) and abuse of power (Article 308.2).
CURRENT STATUS: On 28 March 2016, Intigam Aliyev was released from prison following a decision by the Azerbaijan Supreme Court decision to convert his seven and a half years prison sentence to a five years suspended term. As his sentence has not been quashed, Aliyev still faces multiple restrictions and he is not allowed to run for public office; however, in June 2016 he was allowed to travel to Strasbourg to participate in a conference, and receive medical treatment. He remains committed to defending his clients against false or politically-motivated charges.
CASE DETAILS: According to a report from the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Aliyev was summoned to the Serious Crimes Investigation Department of the General Prosecutor on 8 August 2014 for questioning. He was subsequently sent to pre-trial detention for three months, which was extended by a further three months in November that same year.
During his time in pre-trial detention, Aliyev, who is now 52, began to suffer from severe health problems such as a chronic headache and nerve pain. According to the Human Rights House Foundation, he was denied necessary medical treatment while in prison.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Intigam Aliyev is a distinguished human rights lawyer and is often referred to as ‘müəllim’ or ‘teacher’, an honourable title denoting the highest respect in Azerbaijan. He has been defending the rights of Azerbaijani citizens in domestic courts for almost 20 years and is one of the few human rights lawyers in Azerbaijan to have successfully litigated cases before the ECtHR. Since 2001, when Azerbaijan joined the Council of Europe, Intigam Aliyev has sent more than 200 applications to the ECtHR and has won more than 40 cases related to freedom of speech, freedom of association, the right to fair trial, the right to liberty and security and the right to free elections, among others.
In 2014, more than 20 cases representing more than 40 applicants were communicated by the ECtHR to the Azerbaijani government regarding violations stemming from the Azerbaijani parliamentary elections in 2010. During the raid on the offices of the Legal Education Society on 8 August 2014, when Intigam Aliyev was arrested, the materials of all the cases were seized, preventing the applicants from continuing with the litigation themselves. In December 2008, the ECtHR upheld a complaint by Aliyev against the government of Azerbaijan under Article 11 for refusing to register the Azerbaijani Lawyers Forum in 2003. In November 2005 Aliyev was refused admission to the Bar Association of Azerbaijan.
Aliyev has been consulted by international organisations, including the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the Council of Europe, as an expert on the rule of law and human rights, and is often invited as a guest speaker.
On 4 March 2013, Intigam Aliyev was awarded the annual prize of Homo Homini 2012 by the Czech human rights organisation People in Need for his achievements in the field of human rights, especially for his personal courage and exceptional dedication to protecting the rights of victims of human rights violations.
In 2014, he was included among the recipients of the Andrei Sakharov Freedom Award, presented by the Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC) for political prisoners in Azerbaijan. Though this award is usually offered to an individual, NHC chose to dedicate it to all the political prisoners in Azerbaijan, commenting that there were unfortunately “too numerous to all be mentioned.”
Compiled by ARTICLE 19 from a variety of sources. Current as of 08/06/2016