In October 2011, a state court in Azerbaijan sentenced seven pro-Islamic Hijab activists, including Head of the Islamic Party of Azerbaijan (AIP) Movsum Samadov (shown) to long prison terms on charges of “attempting to overthrow the government.”
The head of the Astara branch of the Islamic Party of Azerbaijan (AIP), Ruhollah Azakhundzadeh, who has been detained over his support for the Islamic Hijab in the country, has been confirmed physically ill and in critical condition.
According to the head of the clinic of the jail where Azakhundzadeh is being held, a number of specialist doctors were called in from outside the prison to examine the political activist. The doctors said he needed to receive treatment for at least 2 months in the clinic.
Azakhundzadeh along with six other members of the AIP were detained in January 2011 after protesting against the government-imposed ban on Hijab in the country's secondary and high schools.
In October 2011, a state court in Azerbaijan sentenced seven pro-Islamic Hijab activists, including AIP Head Movsum Samadov and Azakhundzadeh, to long prison terms on charges of “attempting to overthrow the government.” Samadov and Azakhundzadeh were sentenced to 12 and 11-and-a-half years in jail respectively.
Meanwhile, the AIP said in a recent statement that Azakhundzadeh and the other six members of the party had been kept behind bars for three years since January 11, 2011 over false and unsubstantiated allegations.
The statement said such illegal measures were not dropped despite public demands and extensive social efforts.
It added that Vagif Abdullayev, a member of the party who was also among those arrested under the false accusations, passed away last year.
The critical condition of Azakhundzadeh is the result of his unfair sentence and a severe mental blow to him, the statement further read, concluding that he cannot finish his sentence term due to his frail health and therefore, he needs to be released immediately.