Mehman Huseynov served two years on libel charges and was almost sentenced to another seven years in jail
Blogger Mehman Huseynov, sentenced to two years in prison on charges of defamation, was released earlier today.
Mehman Huseynov, 26, is a video blogger who actively criticized the Azerbaijani authorities in his videos.
In March 2017, he was sentenced to two years on charges of libel against a police officer when he complained of torture at the police station. International organizations have recognized him as a political prisoner.
At the end of December 2018, with just a few months before the end of his term, Mehman was accused of assaulting a prison ward. Had he been convicted of the accusation, he would have faced an additional seven years in prison. In protest, he went on a hunger strike, joined by many other political prisoners and opposition activists. The case received widespread publicity and served as a pretext for an opposition rally.
The new case against Huseynov was later dismissed after he wrote a letter to President Ilham Aliyev.
After his release, Mehman Huseynov immediately went to the grave of his mother who died while he was in prison, reports Turan. From there, he went to a demonstration in commemoration of journalist Elmar Huseynov who was killed 14 years ago today – his murderer has never been found.
Mehman Huseynov said that in 2017 he was arrested the day after he spoke at the grave of Huseynov and said that he “will continue the path of free journalism, like Elmar”.