Meet your defender: Rasul Jafarov on human rights, his arrest and love for his country

Meet Rasul Jafarov, a lawyer and a leading human rights defender from #Azerbaijan. He is the first to tell his story for #meetyourdefender campaign.

Rasul’s bio

Since 2010, Rasul was a founder and Chairman of the Human Rights Club (HRC), which was created on 10th of December – International Human Rights Day. He was a coordinator of “Sing for democracy” campaign, later transformed into “Art for democracy” campaign.

Rasul also coordinated the advocacy effort, the “Expression Online Initiative”, launched in 2012 during the UN Internet Governance Forum in Azerbaijan. The campaign was meant to draw international attention to the threats to freedom of expression on the internet in Azerbaijan.

Rasul compiled information on political prisoners in Azerbaijan, reporting on his findings to international institutions, until he became one of those. He regularly denounced human rights abuses in Azerbaijan at the Council of Europe and other international human rights bodies.

Rasul Jafarov has been arrested for his human rights work in August 2014, and has been released by pardon decree of the President of Azerbaijan dated on 17 March 2016 after calls on his release by local and international community.

Rasul was the winner of the Justice Makers 2011 Competition held by International Bridges to Justice. In October 2014, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee awarded Rasul Jafarov – together with Leyla Yunus, Anar Mammadli and Intiqam Aliyev – The Andrei Sakharov Freedom Award.


Learn more about “Meet your defender campaign” here.