Fuad Ahmadli, Chairman of Khatai District Youth Committee of the opposition party Azerbaijan Popular Front Party (APFP), was arrested by officers of the State Security Service (SSS) early on August 18. According to his relatives, the SSS officers detained him on the street and then searched his apartment. All of the books found in Fuad Ahmadli’s house were seized. The youth activist’s father says among the seized books there were the likes of “How to Recite Surah Yaseen” and books authored by writer Aziz Nesin. A 48-hour detention order has been issued against Fuad Ahmadli and he is currently in SSS custody, his court-appointed lawyer has told his father.
On August 18, officers from Surakhani District Police Department raided another youth activist, APFP Youth Committee’s Surakhani branch member Gadim Bakirov’s house and took his brother hostage. They demanded that Gadim Bakirov visit the Department. Having been informed of the incident a few minutes later, Gadim Bakirov went to the Department and was held incommunicado for one day. On August 19, he was brought before Surakhani District Court, which sentenced him to 25-day administrative arrest. Bakirov was found guilty under Article 535 (disobedience to lawful requirements of police) of the Administrative Offences Code.
APFP Youth Committee condemned the arrests and called on the authorities to stop repression. » » » »
Faig Amirli, Azadliq newspaper’s financial director and assistant of opposition Azerbaijan Popular Front Party (APFP) chairman, has been detained near his home by plainclothesmen of law enforcement agencies and taken to the Serious Crimes Investigation Department of the Prosecutor General’s Office. Faig Amirli is interrogated within the criminal case code-named “Preventing illegal activities of Fetullah Gulen supporters in Azerbaijan.” Employees of the Investigation Department have searched his car and house. During the search of his car, they allegedly found and seized Fetullah Gulen books. Upon detention, Faig Amirli’s car keys were taken away from him and kept by the investigation department employees for one hour.
Azadliq newspaper has stated that Faig Amirli’s arrest is a sign of the government’s far-reaching plans. » » » »
Today, lawyer Nemat Karimli met with NIDA Civic Movement member Elgiz Gahramanov at Baku Detention Facility. According to Karimli, Gahramanov told him that he had been tortured at the Main Organised Crime Department and forced to admit to the drug charges and being friends with Fetullah Gulen.
“Elgiz said he had been tortured at the Main Organised Crime Department. But there is no trace of torture left. They tortured him and demanded that he admit to the drug charges and say that he is friends with Fetullah Gulen. As he refused to comply, they used physical force against him. As a result of the torture, Gahramanov agreed to admit the charges and signed the document. Today, Elgiz Gahramanov recanted his testimony provided at the Main Organised Crime Department (MOCD). Gahramanov has sent an appeal to the Prosecutor General’s Office with regard to the torture inflicted on him. Gahramanov said he had been questioned about youth organizations. Elgiz also said that a police officer by name Shahlar had manifestly put drugs into his pocket at the anti-gang unit (MOCD) and then took them out of his pocket and charged him,” Nemat Karimli said. » » » »
A court hearing was held for Karabakh war veteran and APFP Presidium member Asif Yusifli in Prison #6. According to Yusifli’s lawyer Fakhraddin Mehdiyev, the hearing was presided over by Nizami District Court judge Matanat Hajiyeva and the matter under consideration was changing Asif Yusifli’s sentence due to the amendment made to Article 178 (fraud) of the Criminal Code.
The lawyer said the charge against Asif Yusifli was reclassified from Article 178.3.2 to Article 178.2, but the 6-year prison sentence was upheld.
In the lawyer’s opinion, considering that the new wording of the Article stipulates a penalty of up to 5,000 AZN or imprisonment for a period of 3 to 7 years, the court could have reduced Yusifli’s sentence by taking his personality into consideration, but the judge did not take it into account. » » » »
Chief Editor of Gununsesi.info news website and former political prisoner Parviz Hashimli has said he was subjected to violence by the driver of former Deputy Minister of National Security Hilal Asadov on August 18. The journalist was then taken to the 16th Police Station of Narimanov District Police Department, where his statement was taken and he was freed. According to Hashimli, he ran into ex-deputy minister Hilal Asadov’s wife and his driver while leaving a cafe in Narimanov district.
“The driver recognised me and drove the car at me and insulted me. Not only that, Hilal Asadov’s wife also insulted me and shouted expletives at me. Asadov’s driver even attacked me and used violence. Officers from the 16th Police Station of Narimanov District Police Department arrived at the scene. At the police station, the police took statements from Hilal Asadov’s driver and wife and me,” Parviz Hashimli said. » » » »
The press services of the State Security Service and the Prosecutor General’s Offices of Azerbaija » » » »
The preliminary investigation of arrested youth activist Giyas Ibrahimov’s criminal case has been completed, lawyer Elchin Sadigov has said.
According to the lawyer, the case file will be submitted to Baku Grave Crimes Court next week.
Background: Opposition NIDA civic movement members, final-year students of Azerbaijan Slavic University, Giyas Ibrahimov and Bayram Mammadov were arrested on drug charges on 10 May 2016. Both youths have claimed that they have been arrested for exercising their right to freedom of expression. Youth activist Giyas Ibrahimov wrote “Happy Slave Day” and “fuck the system” on the late Azerbaijani president Heydar Aliyev’s statue facing the Central Bank near the 28-May metro station, and Bayram Mammadov took a photo of the slogans on the statue. The photo of the slogans was posted on NIDA civic movement’s Facebook page late on May 9. The two youths went missing since the evening hours on May 10. It was only on 12 May 2016 that the Ministry of Internal Affairs released information on the youths’ arrest. According to the statement of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, as a result of operational search actions carried out by the officers of the Drug Enforcement Department of Baku City Main Police Office, Police Office #22 of Nasimi District Police Department and Police Office #25 of Nizami District Police Department, 2,607 grams of heroin was found on Giyas Ibrahimov on the territory of Nasimi district and seized, and additional 1 kilogram and 10 grams of heroin was found and seized during the search of his apartment; and as a result of other operational search actions carried out by the officers of the Drug Enforcement Department of Baku City Main Police Office and Police Office #12 of Sabunchu District Police Department, 2,904 grams of heroin was found on Sabunchu settlement resident Bayram Mammadov and seized, and additional 1 kilogram and 150 grams of heroin was found and seized during the search of his house. Both activists are charged under Articles 234.4.1 (illegal manufacturing, purchase, storage, transportation, transfer or selling of narcotics, psychotropic substances or their precursors – on preliminary arrangement by a group of persons or by an organized group) and 234.4.3 (- in a large amount) of the Criminal Code. Bayram Mammadov and Giyas Ibrahimov were ordered detained for 4 months by Khatai District Court’s decision of 12 May 2016. The youth activists have reported being subjected to torture.