DECEMBER 21, 2015
On December 17, 2015, the first day of trial, Judge Akram Gahramanov of the Pirallahi District Court in Baku, Azerbaijan, rejected motions to release Irina Zakharchenko and Valida Jabrayilova from jail. His refusal ignores the UN Human Rights Committee’s request that Azerbaijan release Ms. Zakharchenko on humanitarian grounds. He set the next hearing for January 7, 2016, and then adjourned the trial.
Ms. Zakharchenko and Ms. Jabrayilova returned to detention. Eyewitnesses report that both women are in poor physical and emotional condition as a result of their ten-month pretrial detention. Ms. Zakharchenko in particular looked emaciated, tired, and weak.