An Azerbaijani man, ordered out of the Netherlands after his application for refugee status failed earlier this month, has been arrested and jailed for 30 days, the NRC said on Wednesday.
Natig Isbatov, who spoke out against the Azerbaijan regime on social media, fled to the Netherlands with his brother Anar Bayramov, a political activist, in 2017.
Both Amnesty International and refugee group Vluchtelingenwerk have urged the Dutch government to investigate the arrest and say they are concerned Isbatov will be tortured in jail.
Natig Isbatov op dinsdag 9 juli met zijn gezin gedwongen Nederland #uitgezet Zijn asielverzoek was ongeloofwaardig. Vanmorgen stond hij in de rechtbank en voorlopig zit hij in de gevangenis vanwege zijn acties tegen regime in Azerbeidzjan. #mensenrechten pic.twitter.com/uVjqRZwkAJ
— Esther van Dijken (@VandijkenE) July 23, 2019
Isbatov, 32, organised the low profile return trip for himself, wife and two children in an effort to avoid drawing the attention of the authorities but was arrested two days after his return, the NRC said.
According to the police, he was ‘shouting’ on the street when he was picked up. Vluchtelingenwerk, however, suggests, he may have been arrested on fake charges.
The organisation says the government must be much more careful when judging refugee applications from journalists and activists, who have to provide hard evidence that they are being persecuted.
‘This is not the first time a refugee has been arrested after his deportation,’ the organisation said, referring to Ali Mohammed Al Showaikh, a Bahrani man who was sentenced to life in jail on his return to Bahrein.
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