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Rights Groups Demand Intiqam Aliyev's Release

Leyla Yunus, Ilqar Mammadov and Intiqam Aliyev.

Leyla Yunus, Ilqar Mammadov and Intiqam Aliyev.

The Geneva-based Human Rights House Foundation (HRHF) has called for the immediate and unconditional release of Intiqam Aliyev, a prominent Azeri human rights lawyer who spent his 52nd birthday this weekend behind bars.

Aliyev was imprisoned earlier this year, along with Leyal Yunus, her husband Arif, Rasul Cafarov, Anar Mammadli, Bashir Suleymanli, and numerous other human rights defenders, independent journalists, and government critics as a result of a crackdown on civil society this year.

In a statement issued in October, the international watchdog Freedom House called on Azeri President Ilham Aliyev "to pardon and release the many prisoners whose only offense has been to criticize the government.”