Country report and updates: Azerbaijan

Recent stories on conscientious objection: Azerbaijan

29 Aug 2013

Azerbaijan's two known imprisoned conscientious objectors – both Jehovah's Witnesses - have been freed as part of a prisoner amnesty to mark what would have been the late President Heydar Aliev's 90th birthday. Of the two known imprisoned conscientious objectors, Fakhraddin Mirzayev was amnestied on 22 May after eight months' imprisonment and Kamran Mirzayev (no relation) was amnestied on 20 June after three months' imprisonment.

02 Mar 2012

On 2 February 2012, the Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, demanded that the right to conscientious objection to military service should be guaranteed in all parts of Europe. In his blog post, he stated:

"People should not be imprisoned when their religious or other convictions prevent them from doing military service. Instead they should be offered a genuinely civilian alternative. This is now the established European standard, respected in most countries – but there are some unfortunate exceptions."

03 Sep 2009

In August 2009, Azerbaijan has again imprisoned a conscientious objector. On 10 August 2009, conscientious objector Mushfiq Mammedov was detained, and sentenced only one day later, on charges of evading military service (article 321.1). Mushfiq Mammedov is reportedly being held in the Kurdakhani isolation center and has not been given a lawyer. He was once detained in 2006 and given a six-month suspended prison term on the same charges.

03 Aug 2009

HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE
Ninety-sixth session
13 – 31 July 2009

CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES UNDER ARTICLE 40 OF THE COVENANT

Concluding observations of the Human Rights Committee

AZERBAIJAN

CCPR/C/AZE/CO/3
3 August 2009

(...)

14. The Committee remains concerned that no legal provision regulates the status of conscientious objectors to military service (art. 18).

01 Oct 2008

The Azerbaijani Parliament believes that the introduction of a substitute service for conscientious objectors may cause youth to divert from serving in the army in the country.

Therefore, alternative service should be long-term and its terms should be more difficult than the army service to prevent people to divert from the military service under some pretexts,” Safa Mirzayev, the head of the Azerbaijani Parliament’s Administration, said at a news conference on 27 September.

18 Aug 2008

Submission to the 94th Session of the Human Rights Committee: October 2008

CPTI suggests that in the List of Issues, Azerbaijan be asked what steps it has taken to implement the recommendation made by the Committee on the occasion of its previous report in 2001, that The State party should ensure that persons liable for military service may
claim the status of conscientious objector and perform alternative service without discrimination.”
1

Introducing

08 Aug 2008

Azerbaijani delegation in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe opposes passing a bill on conscientious objection

As part of its commitment to the Council of Europe Azerbaijan agreed to recognise the right to conscientious objection when it joined. However, this has so far not happened. "This Bill must be discussed in Milli Majlis (the Azerbaijani parliament).

20 Feb 2008

(...)

B. Conscientious objection to military service

01 Feb 2008

According to a report by Forum-18 News agency, Azerbaijan is still not implementing its commitment to the Council of Europe to legislate for conscientious objection. Samir Huseynov, a 22-years old Jehovah's Witness, is still imprisoned for his conscientious objection to military service.

Huseynov's prosecution and the failure to introduce alternative non-military service violate Azerbaijan's specific commitment to the Council of Europe.

18 Oct 2006

Report of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Asma Jahangir

Addendum

MISSION TO AZERBAIJAN*

(...)

E. Conscientious objection

62. Before and during her visit to Azerbaijan, the Special Rapporteur received a number of reports related to the difficulties faced by conscientious objectors. In most cases the alleged victims are members of the Jehovah’s Witness community who have refused to perform military service due to their religious convictions.