Is Mammadov a Jewish name

Bayram Mammadov and Giyas Ibrahimov are finally free!

On March 16, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree pardoning more than 400 people, including activists and opposition politicians, who were wrongly imprisoned on fabricated charges.

Among those released are activists Bayram Mammadov and Giyas Ibrahimov. The two 20-year-olds had been detained since 2016 for spraying critical graffiti on a statue of former President Heydar Aliyev. Heydar Aliyev is the former President of Azerbaijan and the father of current President Ilham Aliyev. When Bayram Mammadov and Giyas Ibrahimov were questioned after their arrest, the police only concerned the graffiti, not the drugs. After the two men refused to sign a "confession" and publicly apologize for their protest, they were tortured.

Thousands of people around the world campaigned for Bayram Mammadov and Giyas Ibrahimov at the 2016 Letter Marathon. In Germany, a particularly large number of students were active for them. In 2017, Amnesty International published a letter against forgetting for the two activists.

The releases are just a first step

According to Azerbaijani human rights groups, at least 74 other activists, journalists and opposition politicians are still detained.

Azerbaijan still has repressive laws that make civil society organizations almost impossible to get involved. These include very complicated registration procedures and funding requirements. To this day, Azerbaijan has refused to review the human rights situation by refusing access to international human rights monitoring organizations such as Amnesty International.