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Rights Activist Detained In Azerbaijan

  • RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service

BAKU -- Another human rights defender has been detained in Azerbaijan.

Police in Azerbaijan's central Goycay district told RFE/RL that local rights activist Taleh Xasmammadov was detained on a complaint by a local man who said Xasmammadov beat him.

Meanwhile, the rights defender's mother, Gulbuta Xasmammadova, told journalists that an unknown man approached her son in Goycay on February 24 and spat in his face.

"When Taleh asked the man why he had done that, the man threw himself on the ground and started screaming that my son hit him," Xasmammadova said.

In 2011, Taleh Xasmammadov was convicted of disorderly behavior and resistance to police and sentenced to four years in jail. Xasmammadov was released less than a year later on a presidential amnesty.

International human rights organizations called him a prisoner of conscience.

Xasmammadov's February 24 detention occurred on the second day of a visit to Baku by the European Union's special representative for human rights, Stavros Lambrinidis.

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