Court: Arrest and detention of Azerbaijan opposition politician and blogger Ilgar Mammadov was unjustified

Human rights judges today declared that Azerbaijan was wrong to arrest and detain an opposition politician following the publication of a critical blog post.

In today’s Chamber judgment in the case of Ilgar Mammadov v. Azerbaijan (application no. 15172/13), which is not final, the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been:

a violation of Article 5 § 1 (right to liberty and security) of the European Convention on Human Rights;
a violation of Article 5 § 4 (right to judicial review of one’s detention);
a violation of Article 6 § 2 (presumption of innocence); and
a violation of Article 18 (limitation on use of restrictions on rights).

As just satisfaction (Article 41), the court held that Azerbaijan was to pay Mammadov 20,000 euros (EUR) in respect of nonpecuniary damage and EUR 2,000 in respect of costs and expenses.

The case concerned Mammadov’s arrest and detention pending trial following his reports on street protests in the town of Ismayilli in January 2013.

The court considered that Mammadov, who had a history of criticising the government, had been arrested and detained without any evidence to reasonably suspect him of having committed the offence with which he was charged, namely that of having organised actions leading to public disorder.

The court concluded that the actual purpose of his detention had been to silence or punish Mammadov for criticising the government and publishing information it was trying to hide.

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