AZERBAIJAN: Conscientious objector Mushfiq Mammedov detained and sentenced


War Resisters' International has learned that conscientious objector Mushfiq Mammedov was detained on 10 August 2009, and sentenced only one day later, on charges of evading military service (article 321.1). The sentence itself is presently not known.

As a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses, Mushfiq Mammedov refuses military service for reasons of conscience.

Mushfiq Mammedov is reportedly being held in the Kurdakhani isolation center and has not been given a lawyer.

He was once detained in 2006 and given a six-month suspended prison term on the same charges (see

Azerbaijan undertook an obligation to adopt a law on conscientious objection, when it joined the Council of Europe (CE) in 2001. However, the obligation has not yet been implemented.

In August 2009, the United Nations Human Rights Committee again recommended to Azerbaijan "that a law exempting conscientious objectors from compulsory military service and providing for alternative civil service of equivalent length be adopted at an early date in compliance with article 18 of the Covenant and the Committee's General Comment No. 22" (see

  • War Resisters' International calls for letters of protest to Azerbaijan's Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov, and to Azerbaijani embassies abroad. A protest email can be sent at
  • War Resisters' International demands the immediate release of Mushfiq Mammedov and all other imprisoned conscientious objectors.

Andreas Speck
War Resisters' International