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Jehovah’s Witnesses


JANUARY 7, 2016

UN Working Group Requests That Azerbaijan Release Ms. Zakharchenko and Ms. Jabrayilova

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention asked that Azerbaijan release Irina Zakharchenko and Valida Jabrayilova. It determined that Azerbaijan arbitrarily jailed them for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of religion, discriminated against them based on their religion, and failed to observe international norms of fair trial. The Working Group’s decision is not limited to the women’s pretrial detention; any sentence imposed for their religious activity would be arbitrary and discriminatory.

Azerbaijan ignored the UN Human Rights Committee’s earlier request for Irina’s release. Her health did not permit her to stand trial on January 7, 2016. When the trial resumes, will Judge Akram Gahramanov uphold international law?