Azerbaijan, Europe’s oil-rich “strategic partner,” has taken a great leap backwards in its already dire human rights record. With almost a hundred political prisoners – nearly twice as many as in Russia – the country has emerged as the region’s worst jailer of dissident voices.
Prague-based NGO People in Need has launched an exhibition highlighting ten cases of people who have been imprisoned for exercising their fundamental civil and political rights and standing up for democratic values. Among them there are human rights defenders, journalists, and political activists.
Two CEU alumni are among those who ended up in prison for exercising their fundamental civil and political rights. Ilgar Mammadov graduated with a degree in political economy from CEU in 1997. He was an active member of the opposition in Azerbaijan and one of the leaders of the Republicanist Alternative Movement until he was sentenced to seven years in jail in March 2014. Rashadat Akhundov, who graduated with a master’s degree in business administration from the CEU Business School in 2007, is a youth activist, and founder of the N!DA Civic Movement. Akhundov celebrated his 31st birthday in prison on April 7, 2015 – just one month before he was sentenced to eight years in jail.
Human RightS Initiative has the honor to host the exhibition for one week at CEU. The stories of political prisoners in Azerbaijan are going to be displayed in the Octagon and Laptop Area of Nador 9, from February 8 to February 15.