Intigam Aliyev receives IBA Human Rights Award 2015 for outstanding contribution to human rights

Intigam Aliyev, President of the Legal Education Society (LES), Azerbaijan, and a member of the Council of Europe’s Expert Council on non-governmental organisation (NGO) law, was today named the winner of the 2015 International Bar Association (IBA) Human Rights Award.

Left to right and Narmin and Necmin Kamilsoy with IBA President, David W Rivkin
Left to right: Narmin and Necmin Kamilsoy
with IBA President, David W Rivkin


The Award, granted to him in honour of his dedicated fight to uphold human rights and the rule of law in Azerbaijan, was presented by IBA President, David W Rivkin, on the final day of the 2015 IBA Annual Conference, in Vienna Austria. A political prisoner in Azerbaijan, Mr Aliyev was unable to collect the Award in person. His son and daughter travelled to Vienna and collected the Award, on Friday 9 October, on his behalf during the IBA’s Rule of Law Symposium., on Friday 9 October 2015 held on the last day of the IBA Annual Conference in Vienna, Austria.

In a letter read by his son Necmin Kamilsoy, Mr Aliyev said, ‘When I heard about this prestigious Award, I felt honour and happiness with sadness at the same time. Today, in my country, my friends, colleagues, conscientious people, are facing prosecutions, pressures, and imprisonments. They deserve this award at least as much as I do. Therefore, I am accepting this award on behalf of them. I share my deep gratitude with the IBA for appreciating my efforts in such a way, as well as with all organisations that nominated me for this award.’

Upon presenting the award IBA President, David W. Rivkin said, ‘Mr Aliyev is a courageous and dedicated human rights activist. His case serves as a stark reminder that for individuals across the world, being a lawyer is fraught with challenges and danger. Lawyers play a vital role in promoting justice, human rights and upholding the rule of law, both at home and abroad. Mr Aliyev’s determination and resilience should be an inspiration to all IBA members.’

Mr Aliyev is an award-winning human rights activist working to defend the rule of law in Azerbaijan. He has represented more than 100 victims of alleged human rights breaches before the European Court of Human Rights. As the head of the Legal Education Society, he provides legal support to NGOs, Azerbaijani civil society organisations and low-income individuals. On 22 April 2015, he was sentenced to seven and a half years imprisonment and a three-year ban from holding public office leadership positions by the Baku Grave Crimes Court on charges of tax evasion, illegal entrepreneurship, abuse of authority, services forgery and misappropriation.

The IBA Award for Outstanding Contribution by a Legal Practitioner to Human Rights, sponsored by LexisNexis, recognises personal endeavour in the field of law and is awarded annually.



To read Mr Aliyev’s acceptance letter in full click here. 



Notes to the Editor

  1. The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) has previously called on the Azerbaijani government to review the sentencing of Intigam Aliyev, stating that his proceeding had not adhered to fair trial standards and had been the latest in a number politically motivated prosecutions against civil society and human rights defenders in Azerbaijan. Click here to read the statement.
  2. A unique fusion of international discussion and networking, the 2015 International Bar Association (IBA) Annual Conference took place between 4–9 October at the Austria Center Vienna, Bruno-Kreisky-Platz 1, 1220 Vienna, Austria, with 6,000 delegates from more than 135 countries. More than 800 speakers from international organisations including the United Nations (UN), and the World Trade Organization (WTO), shared insights on today’s global legal issues during 200 working sessions covering all areas of practice relevant to international legal practitioners.
  3. To view the programme, click here or paste the following link into an internet browser
  4. The International Bar Association, established in 1947, is the world’s leading organisation of international legal practitioners, bar associations and law societies. Through its global membership of individual lawyers, law firms, bar associations and law societies it influences the development of international law reform and shapes the future of the legal profession throughout the world.

    The IBA’s administrative office is in London. Regional offices are located in: São Paulo, Brazil; Seoul, South Korea; and Washington DC, US, while the International Bar Association’s International Criminal Court and International Criminal Law Programme (ICC & ICL) is managed from an office in The Hague. The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) works to promote, protect and enforce human rights under a just rule of law, and to preserve the independence of the judiciary and the legal profession worldwide.

For further information please contact:

Romana St. Matthew - Daniel
Press Office
International Bar Association
4th Floor, 10 St Bride Street,
London EC4A 4AD

Mobile: +44 (0)7940 731 915
Direct Line: +44 (0)20 7842 0094
Main Office: +44 (0)20 7842 0090
Fax: +44 (0)20 7842 0091