Lifesaver for ages 9 and up -- Azerbaijan: Free a human rights champion
Mehman Huseynov is a blogger, journalist and activist in Azerbaijan. He has used social media to make public some dishonest activities of officials. Media around the world have used his photos of peaceful protests being violently broken up in Baku, the capital city. Mehman has two brothers, Ibrahim and Emin who is also a famous human rights defender.
This is Mehman Huseynov. He is supposed to be in prison until March 3, 2019. Amnesty International wants your help to free him now. Here’s why.
A few years ago, Mehman got angry when he noticed government officials doing dishonest things. He also learned that some officials were not respecting people’s human rights. He decided to use photos and videos on social media to make the public aware of those injustices. That made the officials angry with him.
So in January 2017, when he was out in a public space, he says that police officers, wearing no uniforms, arrested him. They accused him of “disobeying the police”. Then they attacked him, treating him very badly. They put a blindfold over his eyes, stuffed his mouth with towels and punched him.
When he complained to the government about how the police had treated him, they accused him of “defamation” (insulting the police) instead of examining what happened. And that is how, on March 3, 2017, Mehman received a prison term of two years.
Amnesty International says that Mehman is a prisoner of conscience. He should not be punished for peacefully criticizing actions he thinks are wrong.
Please ask the government to free Mehman Huseynov. Your letter could be a lifesaver!
WHAT CAN I DO?
Please write to the Prosecutor General.
- Start your letter Dear Prosecutor General.
- In your first sentence, tell him something about yourself.
- Explain that Mehmen Huseynov should not be in prison for peacefully criticizing actions he thinks are wrong.
- Ask the Prosecutor General to free Mehman Huseynov now.
If you wish, you could add a request that he makes sure Mehman can do his human rights work in the future without being harassed again.
WHERE DO I SEND MY MESSAGE?
Prosecutor General Zakir Garalov
7 Rafibeyli Street
Baku AZ 1001
WHAT ELSE CAN I DO?
Mehman’s birthday is November 24. Please send him a greeting even if it will arrive late. He understands Azerbaijani and English. Because he is a photojournalist, you might like to include a photo that you have taken, or even one of you, your pet or your community. You could try writing “Happy Birthday, Mehman!” in Azerbaijani:
Ad günün mübarək olsun Mehman!
If you wish, you may mention Amnesty International and include your address. Mail your greeting with $2.50 postage to
Prison #14 of the Penitentiary Service of the Ministry of Justice
Gizildash settlement, Garadag district
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