Ukraine Deports Azerbaijani Opposition Blogger To Baku

Ukraine has deported Azerbaijani opposition blogger Elvin Isayev who is wanted by the Prosecutor-General’s Office of Grave Crimes, his country’s State Migration Service said in a news release over the weekend.

The migration service’s press center stated on December 14 that Isayev, born 1980, had “violated Ukrainian migration laws” and was deported two days earlier.

Upon arrival in Azerbaijan, he was placed in a pretrial holding cell on December 14 based on a Baku court ruling from August 22.

The Azerbaijani government statement doesn’t say on what grounds he was arrested and what charges he is facing.

His deportation comes ahead of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s two-day visit starting on December 16 to Baku where he is scheduled to meet with President Ilham Aliyev.

The Ukrainian government hasn’t commented on Isayev’s deportation.

He had lived in Russia since 1998 where as a blogger he criticized the Azerbaijani president and called him a “dictator,” while also writing about corruption in his home country.

Isayev was granted Russian citizenship three years later.

However, a court in St. Petersburg on August 26 ruled to strip him of Russian citizenship and expel him. Isayev was subsequently placed in a temporary jail for foreign citizens.

His deportation to Azerbaijan in September was suspended based on an interim measure of the European Court of Human rights called “rule 39.”

That monh he moved to Ukraine.

Ukrainian media started reporting about Isayev’s disappearance in Kyiv, including a dead signal with the mobile phone he was using, on December 12.

Based on reporting by RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service, Zmina, Ukrayinska Pravda, and DW
Copyright (c) 2014. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

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