The United States is troubled by the October 25 decision of an Azerbaijani court to sentence N!DA activist Giyas Ibrahimov to ten years in prison on charges of drug possession in what is widely considered to be politically motivated prosecution. Amnesty International reported that while in custody Mr. Ibrahimov was tortured into confessing to a serious drug crime.
The United States urges the Azerbaijani government to abide by its OSCE and other international commitments. We further urge the government to release Ibrahimov and all those imprisoned for exercising their fundamental freedoms, including the right to freedom of expression, including dissent, and to peaceful assembly, which are vital to a healthy, democratic society.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
As delivered by Ambassador Daniel Baer to the Permanent Council, Vienna