Azerbaijan's 'main political prisoner' Ilgar Mammadov released
The Shaki Court of Appeals of Azerbaijan has released the chairman of the opposition Republican Alternative Party (ReAl) Ilgar Mammadov on parole.
He has already served more than five years of his seven-year sentence.
Mammadov was sentenced in 2013 after visiting the city of Ismayilli in the north of Azerbaijan during public unrest in the area. Initially, he was charged with organising these very events and resisting police. The original charges were replaced with ‘organising mass riots accompanied by arson and pogroms’.
Throughout this time Ilgar Mammadov has been considered the main political prisoner in Azerbaijan, and his release has been demanded by many international organisations such as Amnesty International and others.
At the beginning of July 2018, the Supreme Court of Azerbaijan, having reviewed the decision of the European Court of Human Rights, quashed the verdict and returned the case for review to the Shaki Court of Appeals.
“The adoption of such a decision is in itself a sensation. Ilgar is considered free. But this decision does not suit us. Most likely, we will file a complaint. But, anyway, this is good news”, said the secretary for international relations of the ReAl party Erkin Gadirli.