Detained director of the Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Center (EMDS), Anar Mammadli has been acquainted with the findings of the audit of his organization’s financial performance. Fariz Namazli, lawyer of the human rights defender, informed the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS) about it on February 25.
According to Namazli, a 50-page act has been prepared about the organization’s activity by a group of representatives of the Tax Ministry and the Council of State Support to NGOs.
“Though the document was shown to Anar Mammadli, they did not give us a copy of it. The document says that EMDS dodged paying taxes (VAT) for the received grants, wherefore a financial sanction must be applied. Anar Mammadli does not agree to accusation. Note that the institutions, which carried out the audit, are not authorized to assess financial performance of a non-profit organization. Only the opinion of an independent body can be objective,” the lawyer said.
Background: Anar Mammadli was detained on December 16. He is charged under three articles of the Criminal Code: 192.2.2 (implementation of business activity without registration with extraction of income in the large size), 213.1 (evasion of a physical person from payment of taxes or other obligatory payments in significant amount), and 308.2 (abuse of power in order to influence the outcome of the election (referendum)). On December 16 Nasimi district court sentenced him to 3 months in pretrial detention. The case is investigated by the Department on Investigation of Serious Crimes under the Prosecutor General’s Office.
Amnesty International has recognized Mammadli as a prisoner of conscience. Numerous international and local human rights organizations have called for his immediate release.