Intigam Aliyev, a leading human rights lawyer from Azerbaijan, has been awarded the prestigious Homo Homini human rights award for 2012. The award, given by People in Need, the Czech Republic’s largest non-governmental organization, is given in recognition of Aliyev‘s personal courage and exceptional committment to defending persecuted individuals.
Aliyev (right) was one of several leading activists arrested in a recent police crackdown in Baku. He will receive the award at the opening ceremony of the One World film festival in Prague on March 4, 2013. Thecelebrated Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez will also speak at the event.
Aliyev has presented hundreds of legal cases to the European Court of Human Rights; around 40 cases are currently awaiting court decision. He has succeeded in a number of cases concerning voting rights, freedom of assembly, freedom of speech and the right to a fair trial. He has also lectured at universities, published hundreds of articles and provided direct legal assistance to people persecuted for participation in peaceful protests, for uncovering corruption and publishing voices critical to the regime.
Aliyev is an exceptionally courageous person and consistent human rights defender. The award also aims to draw more attention to the repressions taking place in Azerbaijan, which especially in Europe is largely ignored“, says Marek Svoboda, director of People in Need´s Center for Democracy and Human Rights.
Only weeks ago, dozens of peaceful protesters including Mr. Aliyev and other prominent defenders were arrested, two days after the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted a resolution on the human rights situation in Azerbaijan and called upon the authorities to stop attacks and harassment against human rights defenders.
Founded in 1992 and having worked in over 40 countries around the world, People in Need is predominantly focused on humanitarian, development and human rights support. It is also the organizer of the One World documentary film festival that has grown to be the largest showcase of human rights documentaries in the world. Among its many guests this year will also be another prominent Azeri defender Emin Milli and the Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez.
First awarded in 1994, the Homo Homini will be given during the opening ceremony of the One World festival in Prague on March 4, 2013. Until his passing away, the award has traditionally been handed over by former Czech President Václav Havel. Among its past recipients are the underground network of Syrian medics „Doctors Coordinate of Damascus“, the jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, unjustly imprisoned defender Azimjan Askarov from Kyrgyzstan or Iranian student leaders Majid Tavakoli and Abdullah Momeni.
For more information please contact: Marek Svoboda email@example.com