Free Bayram and Giyas

free-aiTwo students have written graffiti on a noticeboard outside St Chrysostom’s church.

A photo of the graffiti has been posted on Facebook. It says President Aliyev, Free Bayram Mammadov and Giyas Ibrahhimov.

And to it is added #Amnesty.

Two students sprayed political graffiti on a statue in Baku, Azerbaijan.

They posted a photo of the graffiti on Facebook and were arrested shortly after and falsely accused of drug possession. The students, Bayram Mammadov and Giyas Ibrahimov, were actually only questioned about the graffiti. They were tortured after they refused to sign confessions and publicly apologise for their protest. Officers severely beat them and threatened them with rape. Bayram and Giyas have been given 10 years in prison based on trumped up drug possession charges.

This is one of the cases Sr Jean Mary CHN has drawn to our attention at Church, based on material she has received from Amnesty International, the world’s largest and most influential human rights organisation. Amnesty consists of ‘ordinary people from across the world standing up for humanity and human rights.’

Amnesty International believes that Giyas Ibrahimov and Bayram Mammadov are prisoners of conscience and that the drug charges against them were fabricated with the sole purpose of punishing them for their political activities.

Bayram and Giyas

Bayram and Giyas

In far too many countries in our world people are held in prison because of their beliefs.  As we enjoy freedom, and the company of friends and family, especially at holiday times such as Christmas, we do well to remember and pray for those who are alone, in prison, simply because of their beliefs.

Remembering and praying also leads us to act. We are grateful to the students who drew our attention to the plight of Bayram and Giyas in prison in Azerbaijan, and we are inviting others to highlight their  situation through social media.

From our church twitter feed we have sent the following tweet to the President of Azerbaijan’s office in Baku. Anyone who supports this cause is welcome to copy the text and tweet it too:

@presidentaz We urge you to release Bayram Mammadov and Giyas Ibrahimov immediately #Amnesty

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About stchrysostoms

St Chrysostom’s is an Anglican (Church of England) parish church in Manchester. We’re an inclusive, diverse and welcoming faith community where people of differing backgrounds make friends. Find our Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/2364267899/
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