Journalist Seymur Hazi released from prison in Azerbaijan

A welcome news from Azerbaijan, award-winning journalist Seymur Hazi was released after serving full term of 5 year in prison.

Seymur Hazi, a former leading columnist for the opposition newspaper Azadlig, and an anchor for the pro-opposition, online television channel Azarbaijan Saati (Azerbaijan Hour) was released on Thursday, August 29.

“Azerbaijani authorities have perfectioned the art of arresting its remaining critics, especially journalists, bloggers and activists, and then use them as exchange coins for political gain. This cynical revolving doors strategy of last years proved a devastating effect on the freedom of speech in the country, and needs to be fought against.”, says Olga Shamshur Flydal, Senior Advisor at the Norwegian Helsinki Committee.

Norwegian Helsinki Committee, together with other organizations, has worked diligently for his release. NHC had nominated Hazi for the Free Media Awards presented by the Fritt Ord Foundation in 2016, from which he received prize in 2016.

In government’s attempt to silence him, Hazi was arrested in August 2014 on trumped-up charges of hooliganism for which he received five years sentence. The process was deemed political, making Hazi a prisoner of conscience.


Olga Shamshur Flydal, Senior Advisor at the Norwegian Helsinki Committee

“In government’s attempt to silence him, Hazi was arrested in August 2014 on trumped-up charges of hooliganism for which he received five years sentence. The process was deemed political, making Hazi a prisoner of conscience.

“, says Flydal. At least six other journalists — Afgan Mukhtarli, Ziya Asadli, Araz Guliyev, Elchin Ismayilli, Polad Aslanov, and Shafag Aghajan — languish in Azerbaijani jails in retaliation for criticizing the authorities.

Hazi often spoke out on behalf of the human rights defenders and journalists unjustly jailed in Azerbaijan.

“We urge Azerbaijan’s international partners to support him in that call”, says Flydal.

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Emil André Erstad

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Olga Shamshur Flydal

Senior AdviserEmail: [email protected]Phone: +47 97 73 53 43
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