“We believe in the release of Azerbaijani hostages in the coming months and strengthened our activity in this direction” – Ahmad Shahidov

Human rights defender Ahmad Shahidov spoke in an exclusive interview to CBC Azerbaijan TV on the work done to release Azerbaijani hostages Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev

Ahmad Shahidov, Head of the Azerbaijan Institute for Democracy and Human Rights, was the guest of the “Interview” program of CBC Azerbaijan Television on the occasion of the 10th of December – International Human Rights Day. Answering questions of well-known TV journalist Mehriban Gasimova, the human rights defender spoke about the results of the year 2017 and gave detailed information on the work carried out on the protection of the rights of Azerbaijani hostages Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev: “As a human rights defender, 2017 has been very productive for us, and we have done a great deal of work in Europe. Throughout the year we had speeches at the PACE, the OSCE, the European Parliament and other organizations, we have consistently worked on the truths of Azerbaijan. Our agenda included the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, the massacre of the civilian population in the front line, as well as the release of Azerbaijani hostages Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev. At OSCE and the European Parliament we have raised the issue of our two-year-old Zahra, who was killed by the Armenian armed forces in Alkhanli village of Fuzuli region in July of this year, and focused the European community’s attention on this issue.

Later, in September of this year, I have made speeches on the defense of the Azerbaijani hostages Dilgam Askerov and Shahbaz Guliyev at the OSCE Summit in Warsaw, Poland. And during our visit, we took Kurdughlu, son of the Dilgam Asgarov, to the OSCE with us and provided his speech there. We wanted the European community to be informed about the Dilgam Asgarov from his own son and not to be silent on this case. We try to work consistently and more countries will hear the right voice of Azerbaijan and support our right position. Our speeches at the Warsaw Summit were very positive and there were many diplomats trying to communicate with us. We received a letter from his father ten days after the speech of Kurdoglu Asgarov. However, it was unable to get any news from Dilgam Asgarov for 7 months. We had a great deal of concern in this regard.”

Said that the Azerbaijani hostages Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev can be released in 2018 year, Head of AIDHR Ahmad Shahidov informed about the intensive measures undertaken by the Azerbaijani state in this direction and touched upon the important tasks facing civil society: “We believe that our Azerbaijani hostages will be released in the coming months. Intensive work is underway in this direction. As a human rights defender, we are also working on this issue, which is a priority for the Azerbaijani state. And all these works are coordinated. I believe that Dilgam and Shahbaz will achieve freedom in the coming months.”

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