May 7, 2018
The ICJ today denounced the decision of the Presidium of the Azerbaijan Bar Association, of 23 April 2018, to suspend the licences of two Azerbaijan human rights lawyers Asabali Mustafayev and Nemat Karimli (picture).
The ICJ called on the Presidium to reverse their decision and allow the lawyers to resume their practice.
It stressed that disciplinary proceedings pending against the lawyers should be immediately terminated.
The ICJ said that the decision of the Presidium was contrary to international standards on the role of lawyers including the right to freedom of expression as guaranteed under international law.
The ICJ understands that the proceedings against the two lawyers, initiated following a submission of the Deputy Prosecutor General, were related to the critical statements made by the lawyers in the media, regarding high profile criminal cases.
Nemat Karimli, had stated in media interviews that his client Afgan Mukhtarli, an opposition activist convicted on charges of smuggling, had been illegally and forcibly transferred from Georgia to Azerbaijan and that his life could be at risk if he was returned to Azerbaijan.
The lawyer also complained of excessive searches and being prevented from communicating in private while visiting his client in detention.
The disciplinary proceedings against Asabali Mustafayev relate to allegations he made on social media that the prosecution of politician Gozal Bayramli, on a charge of smuggling, was politically motivated.
Both lawyers were charged with spreading false statements and slanderous information about investigative authorities.