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Yalchin Imanov

HRD & Lawyer

Yalchin Imanov is a human rights lawyer in Azerbaijan, who has taken on high-profile and sensitive cases, especially those involving human rights defenders and political prisoners. The Azerbaijan Bar Association includes 934 lawyers, most of whom refuse to take politically sensitive cases.

The space for human rights defenders (HRDs) and NGOs has been steadily shrinking in Azerbaijan. A number of legislative amendments have been adopted in recent years that restrict the work of HRDs and put their activities under strict governmental control. The roundup of the most prominent HRDs and their subsequent trials and imprisonment indicate that Azerbaijan is well on the road towards authoritarianism, seemingly adopting a Russian-style contempt of civil society.

Serious concern has been expressed in relation to the exercise of freedom of expression (including online), freedom of assembly and association. Despite mounting pressure from regional and international human rights bodies, the Government of Azerbaijan has failed to address any of the concerns raised. On the contrary, judicial harassment of journalists, editors and bloggers has been on the rise. There have been reports of increasing use of surveillance by intelligence services on human rights defenders.