Meeting with my friend Bakhtiyar Hajiyev

monday 04 november 2013 at 01h44

Categories : Politics, Economics

Bakhtiyar Hajiyev (born c. 1982) is an Azerbaijani activist and blogger who served a prison sentence from 2011 to 2012 on charges of evading military service. His imprisonment was protested by numerous human rights organizations.

Hajiyev graduated from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard in 2009.He worked as a member of the youth group "Positive Change" and also stood as an unsuccessful candidate for the National Assembly of Azerbaijan in the 2010 parliamentary elections.

Also he is an AIESEC alumni.

On 4 March 2011, Hajiyev was questioned by police about Facebook activity related to an upcoming anti-government protest, scheduled for 11 March. Later in the day, he was arrested on charges of having disobeyed a police order not to leave the city of Ganja while charges that he had evaded military service were being investigated. On 7 March, Hajiyev passed his lawyer, Elchin Namazov, a letter stating that he had been beaten, tortured, and threatened with sexual abuse while in custody. When Namazov visited Hajiyev on 7 May, the lawyer saw "an open wound on Hajiyev's neck, bruises on his eyes, and a hematoma on the left side of his nose".Namazov filed a complaint with Ganja's prosecutor's office, but authorities reportedly failed to investigate Hajivev's claims of abuse.

On 18 May, the Nizami District Court of Ganja sentenced Hajiyev to two years' imprisonment.The Supreme Court of Azerbaijan upheld the sentence on 6 December 2011. A government official reported to the court that Hajiyev had been given a negative assessment by prison staff, indicating that he was unrepentant.

Hajiyev was released early by the Supreme Court of Azerbaijan for good behavior on 4 June 2012. The announcement came days before a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.