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New Syracuse Law LLM Graduate Arrested in Azerbaijan for Allegedly "Disobeying Police"

After only a couple of days back in his country, a recent LLM graduate of Syracuse University (SU) College of Law, Emin Aslan, was arrested in Azerbaijan. Aslan is a human rights lawyer who helps young and disabled people in his country. He is a recent graduate, having taken an LLM at SU specializing in international law and legal studies.

It was just a few weeks after his graduation that the incident happened while eating in a cafe with his fiancee. It was reported that plain-clothes men "abducted" him for unclear reasons. It was later learned that the men are police officers and that Aslan was arrested for "disobeying the police." This is despite the fact that Aslan was cooperative upon his "arrest".

However, human rights advocates are worried about Aslan's safety and deemed the arrest bogus. He was denied access to his attorney and has yet to contact his family or fiancee. One of his law professors is surprised about the arrest as Aslan was not a subversive and did not go against the authoritarian regime. However, he suggested that the government may have been nervous about Aslan acquiring his LLM degree in the United States and that the arrest is a statement to Aslan that he is no longer in the US and cannot rely on its protection.

A journalist in Azerbaijan is convinced that for lack of an offense, and the pressure coming from international and local groups, the police officers were forced to charge him with "resistance to police" to render their actions legal, punishable by a 30-day jail sentence.

Various groups are now putting pressure on the government including Stockholm's Civil Rights Defender demanding for Aslan's release and the Human Rights Watch criticizing Baku for refusing communication with Aslan. They are cautiously positive that Aslan will be released after 30 days.


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